We had a managers meeting yesterday at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. The subject matter discussed was the opening of said restaurant and the challenges ahead. Employees were at the top of the list. Like most of the restaurants in our area, we don’t have the complement of employees we need in order to run two shifts. But this has been the case for the last few years. We have relied on the J1 students from eastern Europe to fill the gaps. Now, with the Covid crisis going on, these students are not available. They weren’t available last year as well. But last year our work force was reduced because the scope of our reinvented business was less. We needed less employees. We are moving back to normalcy now. This means we need more employees. And we can’t find them. It will be better once school gets out. The younger kids will be able to help us out. Some of the younger kids last year were some of our best employees. As a result, we decided yesterday that, until we have more staff, we will be closed at Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. for Monday and Tuesday of the first week. What we do the second week and beyond will be determined by who can work and if we can maintain a stable workforce. Barnacle Billy’s (Original) will be open seven days a week.
We also went over the menu we will be offering at Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. It will be pretty much the same. The only two items we will be eliminating at the start will be my father’s lobster stew and the fisherman’s platter. Again, not having these items will allow us to free up the staff for what we will be doing. I was expecting some push back on the bacon wrapped scallops. But chef Eric Littlefield said there would be no problem there.
Chuck MacDonald retired last year. He was an employee of Barnacle Billy’s for forty-five years. The last years of his tenure were spent as the General Manager at Etc. He was soooo helpful to me and certainly a stable influence. He has been helping get my son, Micah (William, IV) involved in Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. as a manager. Chuck has already helped me get more of a handle on moving forward.
So we will open Etc on Thursday and work through the weekend. On Monday, we will meet again to discuss how everything went. We will be able to go over what we did right, what we did wrong and get a bit of a breather in order to make the system flow more smoothly. I am very much looking forward to the challenge.