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Our media partner and marketing partner. For all the stuff we’ve been doing to get out to you. We also have chef lindsay from nirvana grille in laguna, california.
And, hoping to just reach out to today and see if you can give us anything to help some of the other folks out there. Absolutely. Thank you. Well, i’ll kick off with the first question and that’s, you know, how are you?
How are you and your staff and your family doing through all of that? Well, my staff is doing good. They’re mostly all working. I think i’ve got two people right now or three that are out sometimes coming in to help with deliveries. But mostly it’s the servers that are deciding to be on unemployment. It’s just easier for them.
But all of my kitchens are working, and my back troopers are working and my assistant just working. So most of my staff’s working. I’ve got about eight people every day working right now with what we’ve done to change things as far as my family dynamic. It’s a different as far as i’m available, more when they go to bed where usually I would never see them when they went to bed and i’m there in the morning with them. But it’s been a little crazy, and my days have changed from leaving earlier in the morning and then staying up late, getting inventory and in placing orders.
And it’s just a different element, so it’s definitely an adjustment. For sure. I tell you, I don’t know whether my kids like me being here or want me to leave anymore at this point.
But I feel you at you know, all these posts from people that they’re with their kids and they’re doing these obstacle courses and everything, and it’s really not what i’m getting the experience of in the sick, essential service. But yesterday and mondays, we’re now closed. We were doing every day for the last two weeks.
This doesn’t seem like the need was there, but it’s trickling down a little bit. A few more caught on to what we’re doing and have realized that it’s something that can work for them to be nice to see that other people are kind of following suit.
And so on mondays, we’re now closed. And on wednesdays, I don’t come in, and i’ve got it stabilized enough that I don’t have to be here. And so it was a beautiful day yesterday, luckily, and I got to be home with the kids outside all day.
Nice. Great. Well, that actually leads me into our next question, which is, and I read some of the articles and no, some of the stuff you’re doing and don’t want to steal your thunder. But why don’t you tell us for a minute some of the out of the box stuff that never gonna grill has started doing too kind of adapt to this crazy world that we’re in right now and and whether or not it’s working for you and just kind of how it’s adapting to the community that you’re in.
Yeah. So, the week before all of this really hit most here in california. Excuse me? I was at a doctor’s appointment and I had already been a trader joe’s that week, and I had noticed a few of the canned goods seeming to be not available.
And then by friday, I was at a doctor’s appointment and somebody posted something on facebook that all the bread was gone. All the frozen stuff was gone.
That there was nothing in most of the frozen section. And it just seemed crazy to me that here we are as a restaurant and we can get 90% of the things may be in different pack sizes or different brands, but we can get it accessible, delivered every day.
And why is this a problem? And why is it not something that we can’t help with? If it seems to me that the groceries can’t keep up with demand?
So is it easy solution? Okay, we’ll just do it. Coop and my mother was part of the coop back in the eighties here in laguna beach, and we were always raised organically and natural, practically my mom’s diabetic doctor, and so we bought in bulk because that’s the only way we could get natural foods back. Then they go down to julian or san diego and get nuts and seeds and produce and eggs, and then they bring it back to laguna and they would split up, and we still do that today with products.
And it just seemed like, well, there’s no reason. As a restaurant, we can’t do the same thing. And so that was kind of the first thing. So over the weekend, I had put it online that night on friday night, and my facebook just started to blow up and I put it on my school page and I put it on my page, and then I was like, oh, I should get to the restaurant too.
And within I think 24 hours there was like, 2000 shares and 500 people comment and, you know, between all of it. And I said, well, I guess this is what the people need, and so people are starting. So okay, let me know when you’re ready, because I won’t put an order in.
And so on sunday we started getting all over vendor lists and everything of products that we need to get. It was a little different from what we’re doing. And we had a busy weekend. We didn’t notice the effect of covid-19 yet. And, that on monday my assistant and I spent the whole day setting up on shopify.
Which I have I think, told most everybody that it was spotify because i’m so we set up that online landing page and gone all over merchant stuff, got all the product’s loaded, and so we were live by about seven o’clock at night on monday night and sent it out to everybody there. It was about 100 people that we had sent it out to that had wanted orders in.
And so by tuesday, when we got our delivery, we already had a bunch of orders. And so now we’ve had to work through that a little bit because we’re trying to maintain everything, and it was very cumbersome in dealing with it.
We put inventory before after, but then every night I was staying till one or two in the morning trying to take inventory and then had to get loaded. So now we kind of have a system down to where we have a countdown or it’s been delivered. It’s being sold and I load inventory at night. After the orders have all been, they’ve all been redeemed for the day.
And then I know what I need. Then I put my order in and I put in the system everything that’s arriving the next day. So that we have all night and until three o’clock the next day when we start to fill or two o’clock the next day, when we start filling orders that we’ve sold everything. So basically, every day we’re almost ending up a zero. That’s incredible. Now I have one other question that kind of ties into that, and I know that life is we know it may or may not go back to normal or the normal that we used to know.
Is this a model that you see continuing at the grille once you can fill the dining room back up? Or is this, a placeholder, so to speak?
So what’s interesting is there was a lot of shift already that I was looking at occurring in our business. And i’d always wanted to have a co op, and i’ve always wanted to have a seafood market.
And we’re doing both of those things. And, you know, I talked to friends at depth about it, and the one thing was, I never wanted to risk closing or changing my concept and isolating the clientele that I already had.
And so it was like, ok, well, do I change that? And if it doesn’t work, then are we gaining or losing?
And right now we’re in this very unique environment where I don’t really have to risk a lot. Everything we’re doing is in this kind of r and d environment where people are just accepting of what we’re doing because it’s a it’s a source that they don’t have. And so we’re getting to kind of play around with what’s working and not working.
So i’ve already started looking into merchandising refrigeration so that the dining room can kind of shift and maybe doing a seafood market where we can cook the fish here.
But you can also get it to go because there’s not a lot here in laguna for that and we can do the grocery specialty items. Maybe it’s not gonna be the same of the commodities that we do, like, you know, we’re not gonna have many mia’s as much of the eggs and the carrots and zucchini, you know that we have right now, but we can have some of the specialty things and, you know, one of the things i’m trying to add in this next week is all the restaurants that aren’t open. What do you make in house that you can give me to sell at the restaurant to keep your business is going to because we have all of our sauces. All of our spice blends are pastas. All the things that we’re making, we’re selling.
And so you being our customers to the feeling like they can cook fish at home and have some of things that have from us. We still have hot meals. We do about six entrees and five or so appetizers and one or two salads, and we’ll switch him up.
But you know, the hot food is only maybe about 25% of the business we’re doing right now, and the rest is our fish and meats. We have, like 12 different kinds of meats in different thing. We have grass fed ground beef. We’ve got tenderloins. We’ve got three packs of fillet, we’ve got pork, we’ve got short ribs that are cooked.
We’ve got, like, 12 types of chicken for people, whether it’s cooked little patties for sandwiches or chicken breast or whole chickens or roasted chickens or, we’ve got a turkey sausage and turkey burgers.
We’ve got grass fed regular turkey burger, or beef burgers. We’ve got little two ounce burgers for sliders. So we just have this variety that we’ve allowed people to a source from, as well as their produce and other things. So they have a lot more variety to choose from than even the grocery store would allow them to have.
That’s fantastic. Well, we always like to let brian close this thing out, then, key him up and let you get back to work. Thank you so much for all that great information. I love hearing about what people are doing. And i’d like to just close things up with a very simple question of what is it that we can all be doing to help support the industry in general? Or what should we be doing that when united thinking about?
So I love that there’s these national relief funds, but honestly, they’re gonna be so minimally impactful for us individually because of the amount I mean, the restaurant industry takes up about 16 or 18% of the nation’s business.
It’s a big number when you think about it, and to have a really fun it’s gonna be so incremental and what we get it’s not gonna be enough. So I would say if you have the ability and you love a restaurant, even just donating to that restaurant if you were gonna give to a relief fund donated directly to them because it’s gonna directly go to impact them.
We’ve had customers do that to us by gift certificates for everybody. You can think of that, you know, is gonna don’t want to go dine out or like for us. If somebody said, oh, all my family and friends, they would actually want to get groceries, get everybody gift cards to do that if you don’t think that they can afford it if they’re not working, um, and just support whatever they’re doing right now, even if it’s something that may not be exactly what you’re needing, even just that little amount of soup sport. It’s a lot for us because it keeps us working. It keeps our doors open. We’ve got protocol in place to keep us safe in our staff safe, and it keeps things rolling for us to continue to do that.
Outstanding. I think we can all play our part in and be happy. They’re happy to do that. So that wraps it up.
Thank you so much for taking your time today. We really do appreciate it. I know that you’re busy, so we will hopefully see you again real soon. And phyllis in on anything that changes and goes on that you want to make sure that we kind of but along with this video and would be happy to do that for you. So I think that’s it for us being quiet for now.