What a week!
I don't even know where to start. The 'Nip & Tuck' project is now complete, excluding a few snagging issues, we are now ready to go.
My old bosses, Paul & Paula came and visited us on Friday evening to see how things were going. Paul asked to me, "Has this been the most stressful three weeks you've ever had?", without a shadow of a doubt the answer was yes.
The upheaval, the mess, the change of routine, the lack of any control, the hiccups - all of it, major stress.
But, my days, it was worth it.
We have a set of values at the pub by which we underpin all that we do. One of them is about Being Proud of What We Do. The 'old' George was in a functional but tired state, and was something we definitely couldn't be proud of. You could argue that it didn't quite match up to the level of quality that we strive for with our food, drinks and service. It does now.
My anxiety levels reached their breaking point yesterday. As we were nearing the end of the project it started to dawn on me the magnitude of the stress & pressure the whole project had had on us. My mind has turned to the community and regular customers, and the hope that they will still love their pub with the updated look - if not love it even more!
That's the hardest part - the not knowing.
We have had a couple of people who have managed to get sneak peeks along the way, and the comments have been positive, which has helped to put us at ease.
The G&D team have been in all week, two days training & three days of intensive sorting.
Everything that had been removed from the pub for the closure had to be brought back in, washed, polished and put back. The new furniture had to be put in place, looked at, moved, then looked at and moved again (I think it tooks us nearly 3 days to get that right!). Then cleaning, cleaning, cleaning - the dust is still coming down even now 4 days on.
Billy took his team out to Fleetwood to the fish market, an early (& smelly) start, to see where all of our fresh fish comes from. They all had a really good day out, we love to get the guys out of their usual environment and see what goes on elsewhere. It can spark ideas and a bit of energy, and it's not often that being a 7 day a week business that we get the opportunity to do training as a whole team.
Front of House training was really good. I am blessed with a brilliant team of people, and this meant that the training we could do could be at a higher level than would normally be expected in this scenario.
The best session we had was on what makes us tick, what makes us stand out from the crowd. In a previous blog I highlighted how many good places we have in the local area, which I still think is fantastic and it is great for us all to have that competition in the market place.
We, like everyone else, need a competitive edge. I'm not about to start giving our 'secret recipe' away - but it's not a complicated formula.
I haven't put any pictures of the new look on this blog, I feel it could ruin that moment, that first impression. I really do hope that you like the look of your pub. That's all that's changed, the pub itself is still very much the same.
We aim to be a hub in the community, a meeting place for friends & family, somewhere to celebrate, commiserate, contemplate. The amount of life decisions that are made in 'the pub' make it such a special place for so many people.
I look forward to welcoming everyone back to their pub over the next few weeks, and getting back to bloody normal!