Come join me in my quest to live a happier more frugal way of life, while enjoying the more traditional family values.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Council Inspection of our Restaurant Kitchen - Today

We need Another Sink

Title explains it all, so I am sitting here with my fingers crossed that they won,t find anything else which needs done, as any work will slow down our opening. I really was naive enough to think that any Kitchen issues would have been long resolved, but apparently not. Perhaps as the Restaurant has'nt changed hands in a long long time, it has'nt been inspected for awhile, and of course regulations change every time you blink. Anyway I,ll know more tomorrow.

My sister is away doing her food handling and Kitchen management courses today, and like my Liquor Licensing courses you have to get your certificates to be granted your licenses, so good luck to her for today.

My Takeaway menus are being picked up by me later today, can't wait to see them. I have a draft copy but there is nothing beats seeing them in the flesh ( so to speak ) I saved some money by not having had them folded, so I guess I'll be busy this afternoon. This will be a breeze for me as I had been doing this type of work for six years.

Nothing else new for me to do today, Sis. and I had been going out yesterday to pick up our Commercial Dishwasher and we had borrowed The Foxx's old workhorse of a Station Wagon. however the salesman we had been going out to see was off sick and nobody else had done the paperwork for us, so looks like next week before we will pick it up. They wanted $160 to deliver it !!!! So picking it up is a no-brainer.

On my to-do list for this week.

See Solicitor to sign lease

See current owner to have a run down on appliances, and the workings of.

See current owner regarding council's inspection.

See Insurance Agent for Restaurant Insurances.

See bank to pick up Merchant Banking info.

Speak to Telstra regarding phone lines into Restaurant.

Speak to my Superannuation company re: my application.

I,m sure there is more, will need to go and check my diary, see you all around.

Blogger/Google is still playing up for me I can,t even add a comment to my own blog now, so unless I am able to sign in Anonymously then there are some blogs I just can,t comment on. Apologies xxx

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Barista Course

My Barista course is now finished, and because it was an accredited course we ended with an exam, I did'nt expect that, I had thought I was going for a nice relaxing enjoyable day out. Instead as soon as the word exam was used I turned into a quivering wreck, much the same as I did for the Liquor License exams, however I passed and am now a fully trained proffessional Barista. Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee

I am now trained to use, clean and set up both an expresso machine and grinder, to achieve the perfect Expresso based drinks.

Yesterday my sister and I found the perfect set of dishes for putting dips into, one of our entrees is a trio of dips and we had been searching for the perfect white containers for ages, and we stumbled on them quite by chance. I think we have almost everything we need now, but we will know better on Monday when we are going to the Restaurant to meet the current owner and a member of the local Council.

Apparently the Council have been asking for another sink to be installed in the kitchen, and as we will be the ones working the kitchen they want to ask where we want it placed. When we had the contract of sale drawn up, we stipulated that we were not prepared to take on any outstanding repairs or debts to this business, and so we will not be paying for this sink. We will find out tomorrow if the owner realises this. We have spoken to our solicitor regarding this and he has made it clear to us that we are not responsible.

Heading off to our local markets now, we would like to use local produce where we can and markets are usually the place to find the freshest and cheapest produce so we are going on a fact finding mission, wish us luck ....................

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Apologies All Round

I am so frustrated with my google account just now, I have one but whenever I try and make comments on some blogs it just keeps flashing back to this sign in box, so i do that then try and add my comment and blow me down but it does it too me again. So far today this has happened in three occasions, so today my apologies go out to.

Debt free by thirty

We May be Poor but we are Happy

Head over Heels in Debt

Sorry girls I am reading your posts but until I figure out how to fix this problem I can,t comment. I read every post written by all of my favourite bloggers, so if you are not hearing from me it,s probably because of this..........

No new happenings on the Restaurant front to report, an email from The Agent made us realise that we will be signing our lease agreement as soon as our Solicitor reads it over, but other than that I am having a housework day today before my Barista course tomorrow.

RSA and RMLV Certificates Passed

Ok so I,ve been really really busy for the last couple of days, sitting for and getting my Certificates, my brain was about fried with all the information it has had to process over the last day or so. On the first day I spent 7 hours doing half of my RMLV that same evening I spent 4 hours doing my RSA. The next day saw me finishing my RMLV and receiving both Certificates. Apparently nobody saw me getting both of these at the first sitting, but I did and so I am feeling just a tad proud of myself. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of liquor I consume LOL

I got in touch with my superannuation company this morning, explained my position with regards to my settlement date and they are going to fast-track my payment so if we all keep our fingers, toes, knees and arms crossed it just may be through in time.

Today has been a day of form filling and endless phone calls to companies which keep you hanging on the other end for ages. But I have managed to set up an appointment for next week to speak to an Insurance Agent, we need to know a lot more about Public liability etc. I have also made an appointment with the bank regarding our merchant machine for the Restaurant, no point in opening up without having means for customers to use their cards as payment, and I have also made an appointment with the current owner to get a full hands on day with him in the Restaurant so he can show us the ropes.

Our Kitchen knifes have arrived this was an exciting moment for my Sister, every Chef needs good knifes and she took ages to make her mind up which ones she wanted, but now that they are here she is happy with her choice. Our uniforms also arrived they were away getting the Restaurant name on them, and they are so smart, can,t wait to wear them. And last but not least our Sundae glasses are here, think old Soda Bar and it should give you an idea what they are like, love em.

So thats where I am at the moment, waiting waiting waiting for everything to be finalised, I am starting to get a touch nervous, but this is a good nervous feeling.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Proud Restaurant Owners Photos

I nearly never posted this photo because it was taken through the front window and so the quality is terrible, but I wanted to show you the Restaurant at it,s worst before we wave our magic wand over it.
On the wall to the left of this photo is our famous Tivoli Fountain wall mural, the kitchen is the bright spot to the top right our bar is also too the right and straight ahead behind the curtains seems to be an area for dumping things. But we intend to make that area if it is big enough into an intimate sitting area. Watch this space for more updates.

This is a picture of the outside, with me on the right, my sister on the left, her Granddaughter in the centre and my two little Angels next to us. The current owner ( we have not formaly settled yet ) seems to have lost his marbles and spoiled the whole shop frontage with this awful Spaghetti eating bride, he also used this logo on business cards and menus YUCK !!!! So the bride is going ASAP.

Today we added our outgoings to a new Quicken program we bought to keep our accounts up to date and so far we have spent arount $7,000 this includes a few bits and pieces for the Restaurant our initial deposit and licenses and training courses, and we are a long way from finishing our outgoings. It,s all out and nothing in just now but we were not naive enough to imagine it would be otherwise.

I managed to lay my hands on exactly the pasta bowls I was looking for as well as Sundae glasses and long spoons for them, and so at last we have sourced and looked for the best prices for everything we wanted. By going online, visiting auction houses and $2 shops we have paid way under the going rate for almost everything.

We looked into purchasing an industrial Dishwasher but they were soooo expensive that we have decided to rent with an option to buy after a year, or continue to rent. We were going to have to hire someone to help with the dishes but this has turned out to be a cheaper option. Plus the machine wont be looking for extra hours or holiday pay LOL

Heading off to do my Liquor course tomorrow, wish me luck as getting the licence for the Restaurant depends on me passing an end of course exam. I can,t remember the last time I had to sit and study, hope my brain doesent explode.

Well it,s Sunday and as the world is definitely still going strong I wish you all a great weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Superannuation Blues

Definitely more going out just now than coming in, plus bad news from My superannuation company, they have told me that because they are currently changing the structure of the company there is a delay in paying out individuals Superanuation, this means ME. OMG I am worried stiff what if it doesent come through in time for the contract to be finalised which is the 6th June.

So once again sleepless nights for me, half of me is getting on with my plans and the other half of me is frightened to make any, on the plus side my Sister is so positive, that I,m hoping it rubs off on me.

My final final final wage came in to the bank today this consisted of about 20 hours of holiday pay and the 16 hours I worked this week, so not a lot but added to what I have already got it will get me through, plus there is a credit card added to our business account with $4.500 available on it, so I may be able to use it and put anything used back when my Superannuation comes through.

We picked up our uniforms yesterday with the Restaurant name embroidered on to them, they look really smart I will be mainly in black with a long Bistro Apron and my sister is going with the traditional chefs jacket and striped trousers, we have bought confortable shoes, and so we are ready for our first service.

Next week my courses start and I,m looking forward to learning the fine art of coffee and alcohol service.

Anyone noticed my 2 sidebars, yippee almost paid off debt 2) cant wait to really get started on debt 1) I am only paying off $25 a fortnight at present so you can imagine how long this is going to take, still there is no interest on this debt so I actually can take my time with my repayments, still I would love to get rid of it.

Heading out with Sister to have a look at Chefs knifes, OMG more money.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Almost Retired From My Job !!!!!

My word is blogger experiencing problems over the last couple of days, I,m not sure if anybody has managed to catch up with my last post, I had some trouble finding it myself, however here is more of my journey.

The candles above are exactly what we have bought to go on the inside tables, we have a mural on the main wall of the Restaurant which is a picture of The Tivoli Fountain in Rome, and we have used this image for all of our artwork on menus business cards etc. The rest of the walls are plain as to add any more would be overkill, and because of all the stone work in the mural we have tried to find something to match for the tables, and we thought these were perfect. They are not too big that you can,t see round them and not too small as to hardly stand out.

The Tivoli fountain

Tomorrow afternoon we are going out to catch up with a lad who has just closed down his family,s Italian Restaurant due to his Father,s bad health. He has loads of bits and pieces for sale and although there are very few things we need I want to pick his brains regarding Suppliers etc.

I did not leave work yesterday as planned, because they are right in the middle of a very big order and asked me for another couple of days, so now it,s Tuesday before I retire from working for the man. I managed to get my wages sorted out and now I am earning another couple of days money, so my expenses are not as bad as I thought they were going to be, and I should get by comfortably until we open up.

The Foxx is managing to take the news of our business venture pretty well at the moment, but I know the other shoe will eventually fall, and I,m prepared for that.

At the moment my Sister is having to handle almost all of the business appointments which don,t require my signature, and this is because of my work committments, so some days I feel a little out the loop, however I,m there when I can be and we do catch up every night as she is still living with us. Her Daughter and Husband are also here ( until the 8pm flight tonight ) although not staying with us, and I do feel threatened by him. I am not keen on him knowing our business and he is wooing her and fully expects her to return to him even although he is aware that all our money is tied up in this business, he wants to return in a couple of weeks to help with any painting etc. and then return again for our opening night. It wont be long before he will be getting told to back off, more dramas !!!!

Off to friends for a BBQ today, this will probably be the last one of the Season as it,s beginning to cool down a lot today, we are at 21centigrade or 69.8 fahrenheit not cold by some standards but my blood has thinned down after all my years of living down under.

Have a great weekend

Maureen xx

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Last Day As An Employee

Where does the time go to ???

Today is my last day at work, I handed in two weeks notice and at last the big day has arrived. What a scary feeling to think that this wage is going to have to last me until the Restaurant starts to pay, and I,m not sure that the amount he has paid me is correct as I had expected around $200 more than I got, still I,ll be in his office first thing this morning checking that out.

At the moment all of our money is going out as we pay for courses, licences and stock. In a couple of weeks I am doing two days training in responsible sale of liquor, if I pass the course then it,s full steam ahead to apply for my Liquor licence. and then at the end of that same week I do a full days Barista course to learn the fine art of coffee making, complete with art on the top of each cup. I am a little concerned about the Liquor course as the exam at the end is going to be the deciding factor between getting that all important licence or not.

Because I work for a Printing firm all my Menus, leaflets and business cards are being done for me as part of a going away gift from Management and I should get them today, how exciting is that, my name in print this could be the most famous I ever get LOL

Our little Restaurant has been running now for around 14 years and is an intimate candlelit 40 seat dining area with room to sit another 16 outside, but as we head into Winter this area will not be getting much use I wouldent imagine. We have had to buy very little in the way of equipment, as it is already all set up. however girls being girls we have changed the table linens and centrepieces, and it is getting a lick of paint and a bloody good clean but very little else.

We asked the present owner if he would close the Restaurant down just now, so currently there is a large sign on the window, advising customers we are closed for renovations. You may think this is a very strange thing to do but we felt it was for the best.
The original owner and her Husband split up and he left the state, and she inherited the busines,s as she was the Chef and the business was her passion, then she took on Michael who invested a little of his own money and helped her run the place, doing his front of house Manager. Then she got sick and walked away from the business, and there was Michael left with a Restaurant he had very little interest in, he has done his best but we felt he was doing us no favours staying there and losing custom and so we suggested he closed and he was in agreeance. A drastic step but one we felt was necessary. So now you know why we have been able to afford to buy this business, it,s all been because of other peoples bad management skills and lack of Michael keeping proper books.

However having said that we have benefitted from this it has also had it,s drawbacks, as the original owner has now passed on and we are having a devil of a job getting the licences and even the phone changed over to our names and one thing we dont want to be losing is the phone number as all our flyers and takeaway menus are all printed now with the number already on them. Still we are paying an exhorbitant amount of money to our Solicitor to make sure this is all handled properly.

I got a lovely leaving gift and a special morning tea yesterday from the girls I have been working beside for the last 6 years, and for a couple of moments I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but it quickly passed and now it,s onwards and upwards.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You are going to be blown away, by my news.

No time for pictures apologies or smart little comments, I have only got time to tell you what has been happening in my life for the past 4 weeks.

After picking up my sister from the train station after she completed her flight from Western Australia, we got talking about what she intended to do now that she was on her own. And she told me that she wished to start up a little Restaurant but dident have the money so she would probably look for paid work and give up on her dream. Before the words were even out of her mouth I told her that I felt excited about her coming to live with or near me and how I felt that what ever decision she made would somehow include me. I asked her how much money she had and she had almost to the penny the same amount of money that I have in my superannuation fund.

So today we are the proud if not scared owners of a little Italian Restaurant, we put in a silly offer and it was accepted, it settles on the 6th of June by which time my Superannuation payment will be in my bank account as well as my Long Term savings, my Holiday Fund and my Emergency Fund.
Am I mad ??? Probably !!!
Am I scared ??? Definitely !!!
Am I excited ??? You bet !!!

I am not going to change the name of my blog as my goals are still the same, retire without debt and relatively comfortably, but my methods have done a 360deg turnaround.
We are entering into this venture without debt, that was a huge no brainer for us, no borrowing from the bank or family this is completely our baby and we either sink or swim.
My posts will now be all about how we get up and running all our successes, failures, trials, tribulations and a whole lot of laughing. At last I feel in a good place, I feel happy and can,t wait to get on with it.
Many of you will be reading this shaking your heads and tutting, some of you may feel a little envious, but I,m hoping you all wish us luck.

One last thing for me to do is update my sidebars and remove those funds which are now empty, in the future once I know how much of a wage I will be getting and how much I can save I will start them up again. I leave work on Friday the 13th ( spooky eh ) and after that I will have no money for a few weeks, so everything I have learned from my PF friends will be getting put to good use, fingers crossed.

It,s Mothers Day in Australia today so for all the Mum,s out there.