Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fish fry thoughts

The annual fish fry was another success. It was a beeeeeuatiful day. I think it was about 85 degrees F. The air conditioner was able to keep up pretty well though. And it was nice having the kiddles there.

We served 374 total meals. Last year was 456, but 'o6 was 365, '05 was 370, and '04 was 348. So just about average. Just guessing I would say almost 1/3 were takeout orders. While Jane and I were taking money we had several come in and get up to 10 meals at a time. I don't think we ever came close to running out of seats in the basement.

I would like to have a meeting in the next couple of weeks for people who might have ideas as to how we can improve future fish fries. Some in my head are:
  • We need to change some of the amounts on supplies. I am going to return about 10 big cans of green beans and another 10 of applesause. It's the same thing every year. There's no reason for this.
  • I don't know why we put the bread in individual baggies on the tables. Can't we just put a loaf of bread in the serving line and have people take it if they need it?
  • We need to change how the coffee is. We ran out of decaf, and I don't think a lot of people see where it's at. Maybe buy more caraf's to put on tables, or serve coffee from drink table.
  • We need to post exit signs, so people don't feel they need to meander back out the way they came in.
  • The takeout people need serving gloves. Everyone should be wearing them.
  • Do we really need coleslaw AND applesause?
  • Do we really need to peel all 180 pounds of potatoes, or can we leave skin on? Do we need that many potatoes? We had two big tubs left over.
  • Do we need to redo the helper sheets? Are there some jobs that don't require as many people; and some jobs that maybe aren't even on the sheet? Do we need more people or less?
  • Is there a way to get people assigned to jobs better (rather than me having to resort to guilting people into it on the Sunday morning prior)?
  • I think we should have all the people who are serving park in the field. We ran out of parking, and probably do every year. This is the first year I've noticed people parking in our yard though.
Hey, if anybody has any ideas, feel free to comment or email me. I thought it went really well though. It was over at 7, and everything was cleaned up and put away, and Jane and I were home about 8 pm. Nice. I think the first year here we didn't get home until midnight. I don't know yet how much money we made for the food bank, but I'm sure whatever it was will be appreciated.

The first customer came in at 4:05 and was put out that they couldn't get their food. It doesn't start until 4:30. Oh well.

peace out; and in.


MR said...

I asked my vegetarian+fish friend MDH if he wanted to go, but he's got it bad for some girl and she was in town or something. I blame him for my non-arrival.

Other than that I'd like to add that I feel very exonerated to hear that others park on the lawn... and they were SOBER!

arjuna-lj said...

Hiya. Sounds like a blast :) may I offer some thoughts? We have food hygiene training for work (childcare centre, where everyone may have to prepare food for the classes):

1. Gloves - my wordy yes EVERYONE involved in preparation or handling should have them. And if I woz you, I'd seriously use latex-free. (More and more people are allergic, sometimes alarmingly so, and the last thing you need's someone going anaphylactic...)

2. Loaf in serving line - mmm I'd say that's a no-no for hygiene too. It's hard for people, especially balancing plates or drinks (or kids) to take a single slice without touching the next one. You could probably get away with it if you offered - and made people use! - tongs, but to be honest I still wouldn't do it. Especially not if you're dealing with hundreds of people. Airborne germies, etc...

3. Coleslaw vs apple-sauce: up to you, since you have to make it, but it's nice for people to have a choice of side dish/condiment.

4. To peel or not to peel spuddies - well, it depends on how you're cooking them. If they're boiled or roasted, there's no reason not to leave the jacket on. (I'm assuming they've all been washed first of course :)

5. Amount of food: better too much than too little :) although if you're consistently overrunning, try cutting the overrun by about 1/2 to 3/4 and see how you go.

Hope that's of some help :) cheers kel in oz

Joan B. said...

I thought it was great. Really slick clean up! Your questions are good ones. The bread thing made me crazy, because we had SO much left over and all those little baggies . . . but I also think reaching into a loaf might not be the best. What it we just baggied some to have in the serving line and added when we needed instead of thousands of bread slices on the table? And the help list . . . just saying, I didn't have a job because I thought I wasn't going to be there and well, I worked pretty darn hard the whole time. And maybe we could make little table tents that thank people for supporting whatever the cause is for that year. I know most of them come for the food, but seems like it would be nice to remind them that it's not for the church. A meeting would be good -I'm sure lots of people have good ideas (or total resistance to changing anything). Could go either way, I guess :)

Tom said...

Who needs bread at an all you can eat affair. If you must have it, use rolls.

As for exiting... I just went back the way I came in because I didn't want to work my way around the tables to go out the other way. But there was no line there at the time so that probably made a difference.

Good food. I hope it was worth it as a fund raiser for you.

dan h. said...

Sorry, I can't vouch for anyone's sobriety other than my own.

Great to hear from you again. Thanks for the suggestions.

Yes, you did look busy. I'm glad you were there. Thanks. And great idea about the bread, and the table tents. Absolutely! I think most people just assume the money is or the church. I'm thinking of ordering pizza for after church on Oct. 26 and having a meeting (of sorts). Hope you can attend.

Oooh... I like the idea of rolls. Good suggestion. And I think it was worth it - in more ways than one. It seems to get easier every year. At least for me. :)

Thanks for the ideas, folks. Feel free to keep them coming.