With so many Events in limbo, I thought I’d reach out and let you know where we stand.
It has been a crazy week in the event industry. It has been a difficult time for all my clients and Vendors as we all scramble to figure out how to handle these situations.
While Chef and I are keeping our distance and following the guidelines of the CDC and New York State, I wanted you to know that we are still working for you. I may be reached via phone or email and I am willing to jump on FaceTime to speak with you.
We are postponing events to a later date, as the Calendar moves forward. I am hoping this quickly passes for the sake of us all but our small business, along with many others, are taking a massive hit.
Free “Unsave The Date” Graphic, thanks to ThePapermintPress.com They also have a customizable template.
Even though we have not had Events, Chef and I are being proactive with keeping our beautiful space clean. Since we have no timeline, we leave it up to you to make that decision when you feel the time is right. We will be ready to begin service as soon as we get the go ahead.
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!
Dhanny and Chef Joe
Hoping everyone is trying their best to Self-Distance. I actually like the term, it seems to lessen the blow that indeed you are becoming isolated. I scroll through Instagram and see Business after Business in my Industry trying to keep positive in their posts, I know they’re not okay, because I’m not.
In fact, it is quite the opposite. Today I’ve made the decision to email my April Clients to just let them know that we would love to host them and while Chef and I are doing all we can to stay healthy, it doesn’t look like there might be a lift on the ban of gatherings. Why even hold on in this time of unknown, when we can just begin to look forward.
I’ve already moved some events to July. So hopefully I can get other Clients to move their dates. After surviving this Virus Situation and believe me, we will, it will be a time to celebrate. Celebrate that Baby that was born during quarantine, celebrate that wedding proposal during quarantine, celebrate your Dad’s 75th Birthday because guess what, we survived. Weddings Couples are a special bunch but here’s my advice: I know that for some of you this is literally the biggest day of your life (I remember the biggest day of my life was cutting my Crystal Gayle length hair without the approval of my parents) O_o *flashback sorry; i’m back..
Weddings are supposed to mean that you have made a decision to be with one person through thick and thin. You can still get married, enjoy that person. Think of all the fun you can have in quarantine LOL. The Wedding Reception does not define that Union. The Reception was meant to have everyone around you celebrate YOU as a Couple. This can occur months after. Just think about it. Don’t stress because you need to cancel your Wedding RECEPTION.
I am married to my Best Friend, My Strength and Support, My Drinking Partner and my Personal Chef *wink*
I know (I hope) my fellow Industry Members are allowing you to change your date. I don’t even think “allow” is the right term, we are helping you move forward. We are all in this together (says my inner Sharpay voice). We are not trying to cheat you, we are not being heartless, in fact, we are beseeching you to be understanding in our own silent way.
Oh My! I can talk on and on. Forgot that my original post idea was going to be a bit more sombre, talking about me not having Events in April either, hence no income BUT I have no control over this. My biggest hurdle right now is figuring out money and to be honest, if my landlord or my vendors don’t understand that I just don’t have it, then it’s on them.
I am trying to keep sane. Just happy that I have a reason to begin writing again.
Thanks for reading
Got word last night that All Restaurants and Bars have been advised to mandatory close our doors as of today. OH MY!! I totally get it and I have faith that hopefully this will help contain this Virus or at least slow down the spread.
Instead of dwelling on the unknown, Chef and I will try to utilize our extra time working on projects at home. I must say that I couldn’t have chosen a better partner to be quarantined with, Chef is presently making us a Keto Breakfast Pizza, as I type this BlogPost, so life isn’t too bad yet.
We made a food care package for one of our elderly neighbors and I dropped that off to him this morning. He was very thankful. Although funny story, I rang his doorbell and he said “Who is there? Get away from here!” O_o.. turns out he was talking to his cat LOL..
We plan to do some serious Spring Cleaning today, I type, as I stare at this large mounted Wahoo on my wall. Do you think I can finally get rid of this? One can only hope.
We will babysit Chef GrandBaby tonight so that his mom and dad can go out and do UberEats to make money. YES, the impact is very personal at this point. This will give us extra bonding time with the little guy, so again, we are counting our blessings.
All while washing out hands frequently and trying to do all that is required to keep us safe.
Stay well, maybe I’ll have Chef adventures to report tomorrow. OH do you think I can convince him to start a YouTube Channel. HAHA! Probably not, as no one will want to watch Captain CHEF Underpants. LOL!
I can only hope that this is that classic case of “you can only go up from here”, because I do think Chef and I have hit rock bottom.
All our Events for March has been cancelled, thankfully most have agreed to postpone, as we are allowing deposits as credit towards a future Event. To be honest, I’m not sure how I have broken down and cried yet. The prospect of not having income for the next month (possibly beyond), is so unfathomable. The stress is real.
So with no Events, we can always fall back on the Restaurant Service, well, that’s not helping as no one is dining out. We reached out on Social Media for Take-Out but know that this will take some time to establish, as we have never been a take-out/delivery type of Restaurant, which is why we haven’t paired up with UberEats or DoorDash etc.
So it is with a harden heart that I must write, we will be taking the next four (4) days off, practice some self-distancing. Try to keep ourselves and our worker healthy. I will try to post a take-out menu for next weekend, hoping to get some cash flow from that. Not opening will mean we can save some day to day expenses, a drop in the bucket to be honest but at this point, it is a necessary step.
I am available by phone or email, so feel free to reach out. Hoping you all take precautions, so we can limit the spread of the CoronaVirus and see the light at the end of the tunnel sooner than later.
Dhanny and Chef Joe
Recently sat down with a couple who had questions on how to “save” or rather “how not to go over” their initial budget.
Here are a few things I thought of which I wanted to share. I’m sure there are many more:
- Stay off Pinterest (Love Me some Pinterest though)
One of my quirkiest lines is that “Pinterest is the Devil”, sorry Pinterest, I love ya but it’s the truth. Everything is so well organized and idea just flows onto your screen, each Pin more attractive than the next. BUT COME ON!! There’s never any pricing, the photos are framed perfectly, you seldom get the entire picture. When my couples walk in asking for garlands of greenery and fresh flowers, Ceilings of Wisteria, arches right out of Fairyland, I just sigh, give them a pep talk, without deflating their dream. Pinterest makes Me the bad guy. LOL
- Work on your Guest List
OK, I know this is not the most welcoming piece of advice. Seriously though, do you really need to invite Neil from cubicle number 7 because he brings you coffee? NO! One of the fastest ways to cut cost, is to seriously CUT YOUR GUEST LIST! Your budget, including all the bells and whistles of your dream wedding can only accommodate 60 Guests. Do the Math! You can’t invite 80 and expect your Venue and other Vendors to cut costs, so you can stay in budget
- When discussing Bar, choose the lesser option
Because let’s face it, after the first few drinks, Your Guests will drink whatever liquor is offered.
Hear me out! Most Venues will offer a Wine/Beer Package or a Full Open Bar Package. One question I often get is “Do I need to pay for everyone?”. Easy answer: “Yes”. Please, please don’t respond with “can we hand out wristbands”. No, just no.
Instead, find out from your Venue, if you can offer Wine/Beer and whether or not your Guests will be able to purchase Liquor Beverages at the Bar. (Before everyone gets upset, remember we are discussing how to stay in budget. By all means, if you can TREAT YOUR GUESTS!)
- Adding additional time
Whether it’s Cocktail Hour or additional time for after party, this is a sure way to add up costs to your Budget. Figure out what works best for you, keeping in mind that you’re not paying simply for food and beverage, your paying your Venue for Service and Time and this can add up when you factor in Waiter, Chef, Cooks, Manager, Coordinator etc.
These opinions are mine based on the question “how can we stick to our Wedding Budget”. By all means, do you Boo!! Go all out! You’re getting married.
Thanks for reading
Restaurant Life has it’s ups and downs, as do other professions. Our days are not always our own.
We have to truly work at our “normal” life, which makes it so much more a Blessing. Today is our Wedding Anniversary and you guessed it, we are working. Have a early Catering Order and an In-House Event which ends late, so we can’t do breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Instead we gave each other Cards, hugs kisses, got dressed and headed to work.
Made one stop and he got me Lillies, my favorite flower. He walked to the car smiling. “I got you flowers”, he said. <3
This was enough!
Our Marriage has endured many obstacles and yet here we are, half my lifetime with this one person and still looking forward to new adventures each day. Those who’ve followed Us prior to My Kitchen, know that I blogged a lot about being Married to a Chef and all the negative things that came along with that title. Late Nights; Worked on Holidays; Long Days; The Drinking; Unable to Plan Vacations etc. Over the years, that perspective changed. I embraced who we were as a couple. I am more than a Chef Wife. WE ARE A STRONG COUPLE! We work together and made a decision to BALANCE our lives, even if it meant sacrificing the Business a bit. It has been 100% the best decision.
Anniversaries are Dates meant to remind us to celebrate our love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.
In a world where Marriages are becoming disposable, I am so very happy to have chosen the RIGHT GUY for me. PLUS “He does Cook For Me all the time”, says this Chef Wife.
We are so thankful to be doing what we enjoy. Not many people can say that.
We run our Business by the simple notion of “how would we like to be treated”. I deal with my Clients directly and try to be as upfront with our Services. We are truly Blessed to be recognized in this way.
What do you do when a potential Client places an order of a perishable item but decides not to accept it? Customers always asks why we take payment upfront. It is for this reason. There are many behind-the-scenes factors which affect your Catering Order.
I had a Client call to order Lechon, Whole Suckling Pig. I placed the order with the Meat Market. An irreversible order, might I add. I could have charged her for a larger pig but we wait until we pickup so we can charge for the exact size. I reached out via email asking for a deposit, to which the client never responded. We picked up the pig. I called and the client refused to answer. Did not return calls or emails.
It is quite sad by the way because an action of one affects the many!
Why place an order for something you do not want. So this is why I take payments upfront.
So here we are stuck with a Pig. Guess what we’re taking to PotLuck with the family next week. LOL
Our Gingerbread house making event was so much fun. Thank you to everyone who joined us today.
Happy to report that everyone went home with houses standing.
Chef and I have owned My Kitchen now for 7 years. I have seen our Weddings Bookings increase.
I have had a few couples going the City Hall Route and was able to throw them a Wedding Reception, instead of simply sitting at the Restaurant for early dinner. City Hall Ceremonies are held Monday thru Thursday with the latest time being 3:00pm, making it ideal to have an early weekday afternoon reception, if planned properly.
That is the gist of this blog post. Let me point out a couple of things you need to know. However, I also ask that you verify by calling City Clerk’s Office for up to date information.
- City Hall Queens Office is closest to us. 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens. Open Monday thru Friday from 8:30am – 3:45pm. It’s only 1 Train stop away from My Kitchen
- Must obtain a Marriage License. I believe it’s $35.00 (credit card or money order)
- You may begin your application online. However, you MUST appear in Court together at the same time. Must have proper ID, usually, the same used to fill in online form
- After Marriage License has been obtained, you have to wait 24 hours before the Marriage Ceremony can be performed.
- Marriage License is valid for 60 days.
- Most reviews indicate that Mondays and Fridays are the busiest, so try mid-week.
This is where you now have options:
- City Hall Wedding Ceremony – A civil marriage ceremony can be performed in the City Clerk’s Office during regular business hours. You cannot reserve a time or make appointment. You need to have Witness over 18 and with valid ID. I’ve heard stories that families of other couples have filled in. Everyone is usually in a wonderful mood as they’re there for the same reason.
The Cost for the Ceremony is $25.00 (I believe)
After which, you reserve a table at a restaurant and celebrate with your family and friends.
The next option is where I come in
- Weddings in My Kitchen – You have the option to have the Ceremony at our location. In “nice” weather, it can be in our backyard or we setup chapel style indoors. You will need an Officiant. Not sure how much each individual charges. I’ve come up with a package inclusive of Cheese Station for Appetizer, Food, Soft Beverages, Room setup for a Reception. You have the option for background music and dancing. Click on the link below for more information.
My Kitchen CITY HALL Wedding Site Weekday Package
To those couples who have decided to go the route of hosting a smaller intimate Wedding with us here in My Kitchen, we really take the position that a Wedding is still a Wedding and we make every attempt to make your day special.
Here’s a link to another wonderful post in Glamour.com by Penny Wrenn
Contact us for more information (718) 544.5644
Dhanny and Chef Joe