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    EOL Coverage of Chefs Championships at IHMRS

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    Preparing Lobster for Competition



Last summer, my family and I spent a week vacationing in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado. After a long day's journey, my children, then six and two years of age, were exhausted. They woke early, tolerated two planes that carried them half way across the United States, and then finally endured a ninety minute car ride before we reached our destination. We quickly dropped off our luggage and immediately left in search of somewhere to eat. We needed something simple and quick. The kids were fading fast.

Witness to an Operations Miracle

We found a local restaurant on main street called Rasta Pasta. They had a variety of pasta dishes. The restaurant is small, about 60 seats, but the menu seemed to offer a few dishes that were kid friendly and we were not in the mood for a restaurant scavenger hunt. Just as we had finished reviewing the menu posted outside, it started to rain. We headed inside and were seated in the restaurant which was a little less than one-third full at the time. But with the rain came an onslaught of patrons. By my estimation, there were about thirty people who were seated at the same time. I began to cringe.

There I was with a tired family in a small restaurant. Thirty patrons seated simultaneously. A very small kitchen. Only two servers were on the floor. For those of you with hospitality experience, you can appreciate the mental math that was going through my head. I could not figure out how they were going to pull this off, and to be honest I did not give them very good odds of doing so. I braced for the worst, keeping the kids entertained to the best of my ability, and then hoped for the best as I watched the two servers go to work.

Our salads and garlic bread arrived quickly, as they were prepared in advance. That helped to keep the grumbling tummies in order for a few minutes. With the kids content, my attention began to shift more towards the actions of the two servers and two cooks. The servers moved through the restaurant with incredible precision, while the cooks were busy but not out of control. My attention bounced from family to restaurant staff, back and forth. Within just ten minutes, our food had arrived. I thought we were fortunate to get our meals first, but when I scanned the restaurant, nearly every patron already had their entrée. It truly was an operational miracle, or was it?

Dissecting a Miracle

When our server had delivered food to all of her tables, she checked back to ask us "so, how is everything. Is there anything I can get you?" My response caught her off guard. "That was a thing espntDity". I olnd hrd. I then had oy exlrain my hospitality"backgrounk and coigrauplatt her and the ress of the restaurany's stafe on theirpre enuly.cooplatedopefnormance.Aund aefindopefnormanc, it wat. Thirty peoplefred in justCovet ten minuted in in alae cate', fall service restaurant>

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