Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Year in Review

Each year at this time, I like to take a look back and see what it was that we accomplished through the year for you, our customer. Having a weekly newsletter sure makes it easy to go back and see week by week what the major events were!

Without a doubt, the big one this year had to be the addition of our digital menu. This menu is a much more graphic and user-friendly way to select your food and drink. Not to mention, it is so much greener than paper. It also allows us to be so much more flexible in our menu. We can add or subtract something while you are at your seat. While we feel it is much more user friendly for hungry patrons, it really has not been all roses on our end. The company tells us that we are their number one power user. We have the biggest file with the biggest menu... and we are pushing it to the limit! We are anxiously awaiting updates and improved hardware which we expect shortly after the first of the year. As of now, we are muscling our way through it, and we definitely think this is the direction that things are going. It was interesting to see that just recently Applebee's announced they will be installing the same thing in every one of their restaurants this coming year.

During the course of the year, we shifted our newsletter format to a blog format. Each article that we write now becomes part of the WWW, instead of being an email that evaporates into thin air. The entirety of each article is posted on our blog which makes the contents more searchable with a longer lifespan. We also added Google tours to our website so you can get a good look at the inside and outside of our building.

On Sundays, we added our "Oscar Sunday," the classic oscar presentation of crab, asparagus, and Bearnaise sauce to 5 different preparations. I also wish I had room to take you through the list of burgers we had in the last year for our Thursday $10 burger and a beer. WHAT FUN! They are the craftiest burgers going with the craftiest craft brews.

This summer, our gift cards got a makeover.  We introduced stylish new boxes that offer a fresh new presentation compared to the bland card/envelope combo that seems to be the norm.  I'd say the switch was well received.  We sold 22% more gift cards this holiday season over last.  Maybe they're just more fun to open.

The year was not without some trial and tribulation. I believe we had to close 3 different times... for a boil order, a power outage and a snowstorm.  We were fortunate to not add flood to that list.

As we've done for the last 10+ years, we had our Lighted Way Spaghetti dinner. We served well over 1,000 people and generated almost $15,000 income for this local school for developmentally disabled children. Thanks to my crew and the multitude of volunteers!

In the Playlist Theater, it was a great year! Having shows like Loudon Wainwright III and Greg Brown as first-timers here was something that I never dreamed we would be able to do. Other first timers like Sam Llanas of the BoDeans and Andy Frasco got rave reviews. Together with much new added equipment and Mario Data, our engineer, I think the quality of our sound has improved greatly. Watch for an Andy Frasco's return as well as several other new, exciting shows that will be announced shortly.

Looking forward.... This year if we get anything done it has to be our remodel. We are deep in the design stages and trying to re-think everything. We know things have started to look tired on the inside and thanks for putting up with it. We hope it will be worth the wait. 

And as we get to the end of the year another giant topic in our industry is obviously Obamacare. We renewed late this year, so we will not have to deal with it until late next year. Our experience with this will be interesting to say the least. What I find the most interesting is that exactly what my insurance people said was going to happen 3 years ago, is happening... they knew it. Where were the politicians and press? The doctors have for 3 years now been making equally grim predictions. Will the doctors be right also?

Thanks again for allowing to serve you this year, and we hope to again in 2014. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

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