Columbia Harbour House rolled out a new menu tonight! And everyone was running around like chickens with their heads cut off. All the chefs and managers (and I do mean ALL of them) gathered in strenuous-looking clumps around various kitchen stations, eyeing everything as it flew out the door.
We now offer lobster mac’n’cheese and apple cobbler and chicken pot pie. It’s all delicious.
But it was a stressful day because, much like when I worked Epcot Food and Wine, we had very minimal preparation for this change. For some reason, we were never trained on the new menu. So, when service for dinner rolled around, it felt as though we’d been pushed into a pool and told to swim.
I know what you’re thinking: really? Three new items? That’s nothing.
It sure sounds simple, huh? I wish I could show you all the tiny madhouse that is the CHH kitchen. It’s very small, and split into two stories. We have many Cast Members and very little room to move. Adding three menu items without removing any to compensate takes up a lot more of our precious space. It’s a bit like playing a constant game of Tetris, just to get in and out of the walk-in.
As confusing as it was to just hit the ground running, I have never been prouder to work with my fellow Cast Members. We pulled together to work as a team, and I wanted to just high five and hug every single one of them while waving pompons and cheering, “Go team!”
We used to serve a blueberry cobbler. It’s been on our menu for six months now (preceded by peach) and has been a decent seller. We weren’t warned (or really, we never considered) how much more popular apple is in comparison. I couldn’t keep enough apple cobblers in my oven–they sprouted wings and flew out the door of their own will. They’re drizzled in caramel and are flat-out delicious.
That was fun, figuring out what was going to be popular and how to properly stock up for it. The kitchen industry is mostly about timing, which I’ve had to learn very quickly. Tonight was just a prime example.
As exhausting as the day was, I’m glad it’s knocked out of the park and out of the way. It can only improve from here. Menu changes are fun! Change is good. It keeps things interesting.