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Everything posted by K8memphis

  1. I've got it! The next time I get a sweet invitation to a restaurant with a group--I'm going to call in advance and ask for the manager in order to do some preventive maintenance on the front end. If I am hosting the group I will arrive early and tip in advance. So maybe this will bring some resolution. I'm NOT gonna sit there and take it anymore! rhaaaahhr
  2. Myself, I don't wanna get my own napkins, don't wanna go get my server, don't wanna be the guinnea pig for the chef/cooks, don't wanna go find the friggin manager. To me larger parties get the auto gratuity because they require extra service yes? If nobody is taking care of you in the first place then it's exponentially more wrong for me to have to go find someone to complain to. That's the point they should be knowing there's a problem if they are indeed providing anything for that auto gratuity. I think the auto part sucks. I've been to too many functions in restaurants on someobody else's dime and it's beyond awkward to have to try & vigilante manage the place while you're trying to not be an ungrateful guest. We need a new system. The manager, head server, maitre'd someone every night besides the server's themselves should always be checking on any table with the "instant gratuity"--you don't even have to add water to be entitled to it! It's as wrong to expect the diners to manage their share of the evening's restaurant activity as it is for them to bus their own tables. Anyone can see at a glance if glasses have been refreshed and if people are ticked off --all they have to is look.
  3. My link So as I understand it, a party of 8 had the large group gratuity added to their check--the diners said the service stunk--the restaurant called the cops. Busted for not tipping!! What do you think?? Good cop / bad cop???
  4. I got to attend the demo classes at the Nashville World Pastry Forums a few years ago--it was beyond fabulous. Can't say enough about it. Pure heaven.
  5. This is an option we're considering. My business partner is good at cakes. But it would be very tough to do from our current location. And we probably need to change the name of the business, as it is very clearly a bread-specific name. But changing the name is something that I'm convinced will be best for us in the long run in any case, given our desire to do lunch, catering, etc. I have an MBA in Entrepreneurship, so doing this myself is right up my alley. The only thing is the long hours are very draining and it is slow going doing this 2-3 hours per day, but we are working on this, as part of our complete business plan. ← Unless you are going to employ dozens of folks and have a big mighty operation, honestly, you've already lost your focus. Doing artisan bread, decorated cake, doing lunch and catering. Huge huge huge undertaking. I mean you got retail sales, catering, and lunch counter sales. I mean to me when someone says the breathtaking words artisan breads--it's a labor of love. Carefully controlled batches of goodness--lots of time time time. Aritsan bread to me means doing it yourself or painstakingly training someone and keeping a close watch. I mean so you go for a pastry chef and you gotta ramp up the pay scale and pump out the product--the product you make pennies on. We just had an Atlanta Bread company go out of business--nice bakery breads and ok pastries, they did breakfast and lunch, served ok coffee and poof out like a light. They were there for 5 years-ish, they had the location location location down too. They were a few blocks from the only artisan bread company I ever heard of around here that went out of business maybe five years ago. But Panera just came in down the street from that--never been there though. Factor in tons of people like me who don't even eat carbs like that anymore or have cut back considerably. If you're gonna get me to buy you're gonna have to market it to me somehow. Convince me your stuff isn't going to collect on my thighs. Got a sledge hammer? Sure there's a market but is it enough? I don't know, many have tried many have died--and the cemetary is over flowing with freshy turned dirt. I'm not really trying to discourage you. But you need a lot more than a degree and a loving hands at home marketing analysis. Mom & Pop neighborhood small potatoes bakeries have been a dying breed for several decades. Honestly, the phrase is small buysiness 101, a complete given and you would be a summa cum laude in this brittle brutal economy if you could do that. Dude, if you could stay in business for several months to a year that's a cum laude in itself.But you work with restaurants too so you're also wholesaling? This must be a very large undertaking? Those long hours double on the light sunny days of ownership. On the rough tough days of ownership...
  6. The bakery business especially bread is tough tough tough, with very narrow margin for profit, labor intensive long arduous hours. Maybe your boss knows there's little to be gained for the extra work involved. More sales means more work too. He's in business to do business but there's the brick wall of reality too. To me the only way to do something like this is to either have it be a second income in the family, where someone loves you and will keep the roof over your head while you kill yourself trying or if you have a lucrative for real business like a lunch counter or something to sustain your passion to bake. Baking alone seems to need steroids to stay afloat. Say you sell a loaf of bread for $10--you have to have beaucoups of folks willing to buy daily to hit it. Look at decorated cake--from a hundred to several hundred dollars a pop--how many people even the most budget minded folks might be celebrating and have funds set aside for a special cake. You have a better chance with a higher priced item is my point. Get your kitchen and rent it out when you're not using it is another option. Partner with another business maybe if you can find something compatible. We had a lovely artisan bakery here in Elvistown. Wonderful place. I always wanted to approach them about doing decorated cakes for them but never got the nerve up. I mean to piggyback and run my business parallel with theirs. I'd always wanna see someone's books first and that would be pretty awkward so never approached them. Shocked that they were gone in a few months after that. Pay for a good market plan and draw up your business plan from those figures. Don't sidestep this important first investment. Just my thoughts on the subject. I do wish you the best. It is a penny business--you make little for much work.
  7. Cake farts. I have been observing this phenomenon for over 20 years. So far I can detect zero common denominators other than it's iced cake that swells under the icing from a collection of air and will burst or stay afloat indefinitely. The prevention is to slide a pin through the icing into each layer of cake--I use a hat pin in an unobvious place when I remember to do it. Or when circumstances remind me to do it. This of course is also the remedy before it bursts. Completely room temperature cakes, whatever stages of being chilled or frozen, buttercream, meringue bc, fondant---hmmm, I guess I've never seen ganache do it (have I? hmmm, can't remember...) so anyway cakes fart--try the pin poke to have a release valve and see if that doesn't help to a great extent. Actually a CakeBuddy on another forum has just suggested before the final coat, placing a ceramic tile on top of the plastic wrapped cake for a while to help expel any gas. (Air is gas.)
  8. K8memphis

    Making Sour Cream

    OK--Chef said he uses one cup of buttermilk to two quarts of cream and he lets it sit at room temp for two days--he said let it sit longer than you think it needs. You could cut it with a knife. It is rich and decadent. A little lusciousness goes a long way with joy. My personal motto has always been if a little is good a lot it better.
  9. K8memphis

    Making Sour Cream

    I've got a jug in my frige. I think he used one part buttermilk and two parts milk and let it set out (not chilled) for about a day. It's crazy crazy good. I'll double check with Chef when he comes home and he had some other ideas to make onion flavor too. You can just about cut it with a knife.
  10. K8memphis


    Beth, I think one tablespoon of baking powder is too much to one cup of flour--that may be why they are 'spoon fed' scones. A hint I learned (probably on here) was that if you want your scones/biscuits to rise better use a sharp cutter. I use self rising flour
  11. Don't everybody talk at once or anything.
  12. Six decorator's vie over a four weeks in a reality show type cake competition for $50,000. The contestants, click here. I love the basic concept of cake competitions. I love Michelle's work, Mary's work, Bronwen's, James's, Elisa's, Courtney's all of 'em--I cannot pit them against each other. I'm just glad I am neither a judge nor a competitor. That said--Courtney's rocked my world--I loved the color, the big splash, the eclectic bombastic wonderfulness of it. I mean James has won challenges doing Ron ben-esque cakes--why not put that in his life story--it is his life story for crying out loud. I love Elisa's--easiest sculpture? a life size dress form??? Totally rocked plus perfect depiction of her life story. May's--omg--above and beyond and always with the nuclear creativity. Bronwen's also a perfect depiction and brilliant in design and execution. Bronwen had a tough time getting going after the early start--she never would have put that flooring on the wrong side if they hadn't sucker punched the start up. "Psych!!" That network is brilliant at the cluster f--they've got it down to a science. Honestly, as hyped as our beloved Michelle gets it was probably nothing but the grace of God that she did such a classic design. If she had gotten shoved into a freak out sculpture she mighta od'd on misdirected adrenaline. But again the cluster eff of that netowrk when they had Michelle's own cake buddies toss her at the end verbally--such incredible poor taste cannot be fathomed. Sure it's a competition, sure someobody's gonna loose--five somebodies--but dignity is one of that network's most secret ingredients yes?
  13. Reminds me of an old saying, 'It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.'
  14. Geez getting canned sucks. It's easy to feel bad about it, so I can't fault you for that. In truth, he was done a great favor, given a gift. He can start over somewhere with a new attitude. Hope he gets it though.
  15. I mean of course you could check with them on the feasibility thing too. Hey, then would you tell me what they said???
  16. I have wanted to do a sculpture of the Laughing Buddha for a long long time. I think he totally rocks. But I know precious little about the religion itself. So... I checked with my Asian friend about the potential for insulting someone by doing this and she said the chances could be high with the older crowd, not so much with her age--so if all I have to do is nothing to avoid insulting someone I'll go for it. However, this site says that he is the patron saint for restauranteurs! This opens up new possibilities I think especially if it's a wedding. And if you do sculptures or could incorporate him into the design...there's a thought for you.
  17. I love fresh yeast for baking. I can tell a difference. I love it. And I can't get it around here either--sniff. I could get it shipped in for overnight $hipping cost$ but no thanks anyway.
  18. K8memphis

    Cake bows

    I add cornstarch to fondant to help it dry nice. I place mine into a 150 degree warming drawer--two hours later and after cooling to room temp they are ready to go. If I was making a flower I'd use tylose to help the fondant hold the ruffliness--but cornstarch plus the warming drawer does it for me for bows.
  19. Despite my reticence to destroy my evening by shepherding the restaurant, I would without question ask for the entrees to be removed from the ticket. Why didn't you?
  20. I would have just *kindly bitched about it and the server would have had it removed or then I'd escalate to speak to the manager again. *Smiling slightly I'd say, "The entrees are on my bill?" (like you're kidding me right?) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I hate it when I'm out with friends or a business meal and we get some kind of lousy service or food. I hate to have that ruin our great evening of conversation and fun because I don't want to have to focus and make decisions on random awfulness. I let it go and call back which is not plan A but... So I suck it up and they hear about it later. Unless it's inedible. The other night we were out at Benihana's (my girlfriend's choice) and my entree was finally served after my husband was finished eating his entree--we both had chicken--wha-at? The waitress' demeanor was like a strict school mistress and we'd all been bad. We sat waiting for the cook for over 30 minutes after water soup and weird lumpy salad dressing salad. The cook loudly dropped and splatted his fricken spatula in my plate of food. After starters my food was Ok to good to edible. The lobster and scallops that others ordered had to be rubber--they were on the grill way too long. So I called back later that week and asked for a manager--could he call me back--ok--nobody called--I called, "Can I talk to the manager please?"--yes she says but she hung up on me--could have been by accident--called back and she answered simply "Please hold" over and over because by now my blood was boiling. When I did finally get the manager--he got my message. I don't want a coupon, I don't want a free entree I just wanna let you know blablabla. We used to give places a second chance--but not so much anymore. That was awful. The manager was great when I finally got past the gatekeeper.--But, dude, I get better service and food at my favorite places where they don't even seat you, you just go sit down somewhere. That was some pure BS.
  21. I mean you can do more than one coat if needed too. For completely dry flowers, even ones that are already luster dusted (ex. leftovers)~~I dipped my flowers into a mixture of everclear and airbrush color--so easy so fast-- and I had a blow dryer ready to blow them dry in a nano second. I had some edible ink marker dots on some lilies and I was able to dip those 'pre-colored' flowers and get them dry before the ink ran. Fun.
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