The first time was a sell-out, I don't think that could be topped...
(Points for finding the sneakier pun)
So it finally happened. After starting this blog on the 25th of January, having navigated through a variety of ups and downs, we finally had our first official outing, on the 30th September. (For the mathematicians amongst you, thats a swift 248 days. Who ever said I wasn't efficient?)
I think one of the most surprising things about this whole escapade was the amount of admin. I'm not an idiot, I knew I was going to have to do quite a bit to get this off the ground, but sweet Christmas, I think I've read more in the last 9 months than I have in 6 years of my degree! However, seeing as my brother occasionally struggles to spell his own 4 letter name, this job, sadly, fell in my lap. As riveting as it would be to reel off the amount of things I've had to do to make pizza, just know that if you ever get into this food business, it will more than likely take considerably longer than you anticipate. Just a heads up.
Fast forward to the physical stuff. Namely the trailer. Trailer issues have been pretty plentiful. First off, we bought a trailer from eBay which was a little bit battered (issue #1). Next we realised that neither of us had a licence to tow it (issue #2). We also found out that it was completely unworkable for this line of work when we went to get some new panels put on it (issue #3). Its now sat on one of our friends farms whilst we try and figure out a new use for it.
"WHAT ABOUT THE PIZZA ISSUES?" I hear you exclaim, aggressively. The only real issue is how many of them I've had to eat over this time period. Its a damn shame. It really is. A minimum 4kg of mozzarella, which actually brings a tear to my eye. Makes sense as to why you should never trust a skinny chef though. Solves that little mystery.
BUT YOU DIDN'T CLICK ON MY AWFUL INSTAGRAM/TWITTER LINK/PUN TO HEAR ABOUT THE JOURNEY. YOU WANNA KNOW ABOUT OUR FIRST EVENT. (or you have nothing better to do. I'm not here to judge.)
The ever courteous Mr Christopher Pennell was kind enough to offer us an opportunity to get the ball rolling at his Cricket/Rugby crossover game. Arguably the perfect place to start, as inevitably, the majority of our clientele would be the Warriors lads. So barring the obvious abuse that was going to come my way, the pressure wasn't as full on as it could have been.
That didn't stop me getting just a wee bit stressed mind. After having put so much time and effort into the whole project, if the first go was a flop, I would have been unbelievably frustrated. So getting to the ground an hour later than expected, and leaving all the pizza boxes at home was NOT the ideal opener to the day. Cue a pretty gratuitous amount of expletives as I drove back home, plus a few more when I clocked that I hadn't got any change ready.
Luckily, I tend to think a little outside the box. With banks closed Sundays, what would you do? Ask someone at a till, right? Wrong. What you do, is you find the small packs of Haribo (10p a pop) or some 30p Freddo's (daylight robbery), and take them to the self service till. Pay for each pack individually with a £10 note, and boom. You've got yourself some change, via an extremely long winded method.
I get back to the ground with half an hour to spare, and we were back on track. Thank god my better half was there. Had I done as I'd intended, which was give the whole thing a go on my own, I would have crashed and burned all the pizzas. Fortunately, she has such an in-depth knowledge of my ego that she's well aware when I take too much on. So whilst I was busy practicing my best pronunciation of every swear word in the English language, she managed to light the fire, get the ingredients organised and laid out, connect us to some electricity, and get some music playing. What an angel. Born to be in the mobile catering industry. (In all seriousness though I would have been up the metaphorical creek without a paddle if she wasn't there. Kate I owe you one!)
Then we were off. A quiet first 20 minutes, but once it was announced where we were on the tannoy, the orders came in thick and fast. The conveyor belt was moving well, but with the best will in the world, I think we took to many orders on in a short period of time. Each order only take about 2/3 minutes start to finish, but when you've taken 14 orders in about 15 minutes, some of whom wanted more than one pizza, you're naturally going to accumulate a backlog. In hindsight, probably a good thing it was a cricket game. We did catch up, but it took a bit longer than I would have liked. It's all a learning experience after all! We sold out just as the game finished, and I felt like I'd played 80 minutes. Never let anyone tell you that this job is a cake walk!
Overall the feedback we received was very positive. I already know that there are a few ways that we can, and will, improve. So I guess we grow and grow from here! Thanks for all the support we've had, from those who read this blog, follow the twitter/instagram/facebook, have tasted the pizzas, and more importantly, have bought any pizzas from us! Stay tuned. Theres plenty more to come.
We're officially open.