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  • The Check Podcast

Episode 27: Turning the Tables

New guidance about masks is changing the restaurant experience, while Alvin and Brady try to sort out what it all means. They also discuss the challenges of hiring staff and some of the menu modifications they're having to make as a result. Plus, Alvin’s new hobby.




Further Reading

CDC’s new mask guidance means more confusion for diners and restaurants - Washington Post, May 14 Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers? - Wall Street Journal, May 6 What you need to know about the CDC’s new mask guidelines - Washington Post, May 14


Episode Transcript

May 19, 2020


Brady Viccellio

Prince Harry says the First Amendment is bonkers. Gas is still not available in DC. Stimulus checks and unemployment supplements make labor very scarce. Masks are off, but nobody will tell us what to do. Observations in a restaurant, menu and service adjustments, and Alvin seeks a hobby, all on this episode of The Check.


If you've ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes at restaurants, then you're in the right place. This podcast takes you inside the minds of restaurant owners, chefs, bartenders, servers, basically anyone who has anything to do with food drink or hospitality, and Brady Viccellio, owner of Steinhilber’s restaurant and La Bella Italia on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach. Welcome to The Check podcast.


Alvin Williams

And I'm Alvin Williams, cohost of the check and owner of Cobalt Grille restaurant at hilltop in Virginia Beach. Welcome to our podcast, we'll be talking about restaurants, people who work in restaurants who own restaurants and people who like to dine in restaurants.


Brady Viccellio

OK Alvin, what's going on with Harry? He said the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is bonkers.


Alvin Williams

Is that the Royal Harry?


Brady Viccellio

Yeah, your boy.


Alvin Williams

I can't speak for Harry. It's been some time since I've talked to him. So I'm not sure what his views have been lately. Not to mention I haven't read the news in days either. I just found out about the guesting. Well, he


Brady Viccellio

says that the First Amendment is bonkers. So which is ironically or coincidentally. Why was after country to start off with one of the one of the reasons?


Alvin Williams

Oh, boy, are we getting into that?


Brady Viccellio

Well, I mean, you have states you have all the people from California. They say, well, we don't like the way California is run. So they moved to Texas, and then create these liberal strongholds like Austin, and Harry's left his country. Yeah. And then he comes here and he says, Ah, this first amendment is bonkers.


Alvin Williams

Well, so maybe he's just hinting that he wants to go back home?


Brady Viccellio

That's a good point.


Alvin Williams

Yeah, maybe that's all it is.


Brady Viccellio

It's a dog whistle. Yeah.


Alvin Williams

And then, you know, it would appear that you're talking about those states, the state of Florida might be changing. I heard a lot of people in migrating to Florida and taking their politics with them. And it could soon change colors. It could


Brady Viccellio

any state could at any time. Either way. I would have would have all the I mean, who were the people that are leaving New York, for example. I mean, I guess it's all the liberals is what you're saying where the conservatives go?


Brady Viccellio

Another point of, I'm going to call it irony. DC is out of gas. They're the last people to get gas, really. They're still having problems with it. Why?


Alvin Williams

Well, they don't really need it that much anyway, you know, in a city that they got, you know, electric buses, and they got trains, and they got bicycles. And you can never drive there anyway, because it's the President's moving around the block on the streets. So I'm not so worried about DC. I don't think their restaurants open yet. Are they?


Brady Viccellio

I don't know. Which is interesting, because we've been talking about this as well. How do they know? I mean, how do we know what we're supposed to do? Just the other. Was it Friday? Was it Friday or Thursday when the President went on to Thursday evening? Yeah, it was it went on TV. said there's the CDC guidelines. The new CDC guidelines say there's no reason to wear a mask if you're vaccinated.


Alvin Williams

I see you saying how do we know what we do? What are the rules regarding restaurants and customers and interaction and masks and that kind of stuff? Well, really, I don't know what we do. What I have heard, is that it is up to the restaurant owners’ or business owners’ discretion as to what they do regarding their customers and clients and guests. And that if those guests have been or workers have been vaccinated, fully vaccinated with two shots, that they don't have to wear the masks anymore. I'm sure some restaurant owners are still going to require it and ask us for it. And that makes everybody feel safe. Well, I'm not sure what they said about the bar is going back to normal. Yep. And the bar stools. I think there's still a lot of information out there. That's it's fuzzy. It's not clear.


Brady Viccellio

One of the first places that one might want to go for this sort of infer information would be to see what's on the Virginia Department of Health website. So I'm going to hand you a screenshot of what that looks like. At this time. Virginia Department of Health. Major information comes from the President on Thursday. Yeah. And the Virginia Department of Health website, just you know, what I just handed you What do you think about that?


Alvin Williams

Well, it's still vague. VDH is currently updating guidance for fully vaccinated people. Thank you for your patience.


Brady Viccellio

Then go on down. What's it say on the bottom on the bottom?


Alvin Williams

Planned server maintenance?


Brady Viccellio

They’re doing maintenance on their website? After a major, probably the biggest announcement? Yeah, the most positive announcement, certainly the biggest announcement on the good side of this thing, and what is the Virginia Department of Health do?


Alvin Williams

Well, they decide to update their website. So I think they're not posturing. But I think they're avoiding making any statements because maybe they don't know yet.


Brady Viccellio

Alright, check out the lead story on the National Restaurant Association website.


Alvin Williams

Consumers ramped up their restaurant spending in April.


Brady Viccellio

That's good. That's good information for us restaurateuts in May. Yeah.


Alvin Williams

Well, it's interesting, because I think customers have ramped up their traffic spending.


Brady Viccellio

But the biggest concern right now, on this day,


Alvin Williams

I'm trying to keep my day off is like, I know you're all ramped up and upset.


Brady Viccellio

Upset? No, I just had some observations.


Alvin Williams

Yeah. You have more observations and Jerry Seinfeld.


Brady Viccellio

I don't think that's true.


Alvin Williams

Well, what will your policy be at your restaurant?


Brady Viccellio

Okay. Masks are optional. If you’re vaccinated my policy is 100% based on the President's announcement on Thursday, that if you have been vaccinated, then there is no need for you to wear a mask.


Alvin Williams

How do we know who has been vaccinated? And who has not been okay, and who is protecting me?


Brady Viccellio

Okay, we'll go one question at a time because I'm not that smart. So how do we know who's been vaccinated? And who hasn't been vaccinated? First of all, it's its honor system. But that's where your brain goes immediately. But I think the most important part is if somebody lies about their vaccination status. Who does that affect?


Alvin Williams

Well, it affects them. Because let's say you lie to me, and you come into my restaurant, and I've been vaccinated.


Brady Viccellio

And I say, I'm going to take my mask off. What's the problem there? Who am I putting in jeopardy? Tell me, the other people who lied and have their masks off.


Alvin Williams

So it's all the liars who are going to get…


Brady Viccellio

… who are going to be the spreaders from now, but they're spreading amongst themselves. Right. So as soon as they get the get the virus, guess what? They're vaccinated? Naturally?


Alvin Williams

Yeah. But we still don't know. 100%.


Alvin Williams

But there's not conclusive data. And so let's say for instance, everyone's been vaccinated. So are we going to need booster shots next year? I don't know. But as I was thinking, you know, those cards that they give you.


Brady Viccellio

Let’s talk about right now.


Alvin Williams

I'm talking about right now. So how do we know someone's vaccinated? All right, they said they're vaccinated, so we're not going to ask them to break out vaccination cards.


Brady Viccellio

And who cares? You know, who cares? Because if you're vaccinated, take off your mask. I mean, I told my employees, but I generally know which one of you which one of you have been vaccinated, or had COVID because you've talked about it, right. So and I imagine there's some other ones that have been, Please be honest, if you haven't been vaccinated, wear your mask. If you have, feel free to take them off, if you want. Now, if you say you've been vaccinated, and one of my guests calls up and says, Hey, I was in there Monday, and I saw your unmasked server at the at the clinic on Tuesday, you know, getting it getting their COVID shot. Well that's dishonesty and they're going to lose their job.


Alvin Williams

Let me ask you this. So, what if a customer comes in does not claim to be vaccinated so wears a mask in through the front door, because everyone supposed to wear masks and he sits down? And then when they sat down, they're allowed to remove their masks because they're supposed to eat? So what if this unvaccinated customer is sitting down in the restaurant having walked through with a mask on Sat down removes the mask to eat and then is served by someone how has not been vaccinated. So that guest is now exposed to the server who has not been vaccinated?


Brady Viccellio

There's some debate there, too. I guess there's a potential transfer. Right. But I think how many cases overall have been traced back to it restaurants? And I think there's a reason for the well, very few. I'll answer that question. And, and I think the reason that most restaurants are very safe, as far as that they've had, although they've been we've been heavily restricted, we've also been one of the least likely places to get COVID. So one reason is we've been so heavily restricted. Yeah. The second reason, I think, another reason I'm not sure what the hierarchy is, but every restaurant that serves food that I know of, has an exhaust fan. Yeah. So that exhaust fan, if it's, you know, supposedly, they're supposed to be slightly negative air pressure in the kitchen, where it pulls in fresh air from other parts of the restaurant, right. But most restaurants have a very heavy negative air pressure in the kitchen, because the makeup air fans just don't work that well, or it makes your kitchen cooler. You know, disconnect those or whatever. Right? And the, the airflow in a restaurant is so great, on average, that we just get so much fresh air whenever that door opens, it's a rush of fresh air.


Alvin Williams

Not to mention our cleaning standards are high.


Alvin Williams

So it's likely it's not likely that someone's going to get it in restaurants, even though we restaurants have been spotlighted through this hole.


Brady Viccellio

Alright, well, I think it's proven that it's not likely for people to get in restaurants.


Alvin Williams

But there are reports to the contrary, also.


Brady Viccellio

Yeah, absolutely.


Alvin Williams

Let's say that you you can't get it in restaurants. And case in point, I know of a spring break in Florida, Miami, in particular. There was a lot of people out in restaurants having fun reveling I think it may have been younger people because it was spring break. And there were outbreaks. And those stemmed from highly populated restaurants. So I think it's twofold.


Brady Viccellio

Well, those are restaurants also that probably are following guidelines, which is, is one major part that restaurants might not be a commonplace. And another major point, I think, is that all restaurants have exhaust fans in their kitchens. Yeah, maybe some bars in Florida. I know that in Virginia, there's no, there's no bars without food. Yeah, but maybe I'm sure other states have bars, that wouldn't require an exhaust fan and just pour liquor.


Alvin Williams

I'm not even sure about what's going on with outdoor events. And what are the rules now? How many people can we have at a table? As a party? Do you know what the rules are?


Brady Viccellio

I understand that it's 250 people in and outside event. Okay. Inside, it's 10 people at one table?


Alvin Williams

Oh, it's still just 10?


Brady Viccellio

Six feet apart until I think there's a new guidance that comes out May 28.


Alvin Williams

It may have have been lifted to 25.


Brady Viccellio

It could be it could be that I know there was one guidance that kind of slipped out. And it was an update. And that sounds that sounds right. Okay, actually, what's after the last, the mask thing where they say that there's no reason to wear a mask if you're if you're vaccinated after that whole thing and the fact that I went and got vaccinated, and it took me 20 minutes in total.


Alvin Williams

To get upon all the rules, we just got to wait for the health department to fix their website and they're slow to move on their update.


Brady Viccellio

As soon as they get their update. We'll check on it and see if what laws were breaking.


Alvin Williams

We're not breaking any laws. You know, we don't need that come in.


Brady Viccellio

I’m kidding.


Alvin Williams

Okay, good.


Brady Viccellio

Yeah. So the transmission, you're going into a situation with a transmission, chances are already very low. So the likelihood you got to have a certain a dishonest server, who is currently sick, who it's I'm sure in the world this is going to happen sometime in the near future, of course, but the chances are very low. I mean, in the world somewhere somebody is getting run over by a car in their front yard. It's okay to look at things like what are the chances of this happening? Well, if you're worried about getting run over by a car in your front yard, you should probably just stay in your house. If you're worried about getting going out unvaccinated? Yeah. And they in house and all that. And if you're insisting on being unvaccinated and not being vaccinated, and you're worried about the server lying about their vaccination status right?


Alvin Williams

Stay home or to take out. But when you order takeout order directly from the restaurants don't order from grubhub.


Brady Viccellio

Order directly from La Bella Italia or Steinehilber’s.


Alvin Williams

Or order from Cobalt Grill in Hilltop. We have very lovely food in very nice packages and bags for you.


Brady Viccellio

I've heard that another round of stimulus checks are coming out.


Alvin Williams

All right, let's talk about it.


Brady Viccellio

You’ve got an unemployment supplement where you're out of work, the Virginia employment commission, which is the state employment commission gives you I think it's two thirds of your paycheck that you're getting before, up to a certain amount, there's a cap. And then I believe it's an additional $300 now that the federal government kicks in, I believe, per week.


Alvin Williams

So it's a lot of free money that's been doled out to people through unemployment and stimulus checks, etc. And what that does to our world, our business, the trickle-down effect is that people don't want to work. So now people are coming back out to eat, and they're feeling more safe, and they've been vaccinated. And now the pressure is on the restaurants that are still open that made it through COVID, because a lot of a lot of our restaurant friends did not survive. We fortunately are still here. But it puts pressure on us to give the good food and good service that our clients were used to before COVID. Because we have a limited amount of staff because a lot of our staff are no longer working because they're receiving these checks from the government, which they don't seem to be stopping any time soon. It's my understanding that those benefits will start in September sometime, I think some of the other governors around the country have put the kibosh on it already and stopped, and their states are getting back to work, people are coming back out to work. We need workers, we understand that some people have had hard times and they need an extra bump or something. But there may be a more creative, creative way to do it, rather than just giving people money to stay home. So they don't work. And that's when they don't work. We don't have people to serve the clients that are coming out.


Brady Viccellio

To go back to this, if this is the point, when I got vaccinated, I unnecessarily made an appointment, went into the Virginia Beach Convention Center, I was the only one there except for, you know, a crowded nurses and administrative people, I was the only person getting a vaccine in the whole Convention Center. It took me the time to walk in and walk through that little maze and then wait to see if I was 15 minutes. So it was like 18 minutes. So now there's really not a lot of excuse. There's no excuse vaccines are readily available to all all ages, all everyone, you can go you can do it at the Harris Teeter the grocery store, you can go to the pharmacy, you can go to the convention center, you can go to the hospital, it is available everywhere. There's no reason for people saying well, I can't get a vaccine, so I can't come to work. So why am I still getting compensated to stay home? Why?


Alvin Williams

I sir, cannot answer that question. And I can't ask the question.


Brady Viccellio

There's a reason. I'm not smart enough to answer it either. But I'm sure there are people who are listening to this who know the reason.


Alvin Williams

Well, I suspect one of the reasons is that people are making more money staying at home and, and they have no work ethic, and they have no moral compass. And and they don't really want to help their society or, or their community by being good upstanding citizens and going to work. Well, I mean, this is going to run out, this is free money. And then when that runs out, well, let's see, see what gets in line for these jobs. And let's see who gets the job because not everyone's guaranteed to get a job. Once it's time for you know, then we're going to be a little more choosy about who gets hired and for how much they get hired.


Brady Viccellio

Or what about the argument that we just don't pay enough. I mean, I've had people tell me, it seems like to me if you if you give benefits and enough pay, that you won't have a problem with labor.


Alvin Williams

It's not necessarily true.


Brady Viccellio

I did a little math and I figured out that in order to compete with the government, you're up into $30 plus an hour.


Alvin Williams

Okay. I'd like to sign up for that job, please.


Brady Viccellio

And that's taking into account, that there's got to be an incentive, you're at a certain amount already to not work. So what's the incentive to actually work to get ahead to make more money or whatever, that incentive. So I think you're up into the 30s easily.


Alvin Williams

I put I don't think it's all about money. I think it's about enjoying your craft, enjoying what you do getting job satisfaction, camaraderie with your workmates, and that kind of stuff. I don't think it all boils down to money. Because at the end of the day, no matter what anyone's getting paid, they always think that they are worth more or could be getting more.


Brady Viccellio

Part of what I was looking at, along with this is the living wage. Which, if you're in the 30s, you're in the neighborhood of three times what the living wage would be for a single person throw on, you know, the benefits. Really, the problem is the government money. It's not. I think that's, that's the conclusion to that. Why they're taking it, why it's continuing. That's, that's a whole sociological and political debate that I'm not equipped to have. But I agree that eventually, even if the stimulus checks continue to come, yeah, either our society will fall apart, or people will just go nuts and have to go to work. Because they, it's, it's because that's what we are as people as humans, as a species.


Alvin Williams

Yeah, this is going to get tough. And that ends apparently in September, which means that this whole summer is going to be rough for hotels, and restaurants, and boutique stores, and anybody who is trying to sell their wares through the summer, which is a busy time for us, because we're here, as a resort city, we're on we're on the beach. And you don't have enough staff to help with that. And also you get to see it. So then there's all this stimulus money. So even the people who are who are sitting at home, not working, collecting stimulus checks and unemployment, they're coming out into society and spending that money to the ones who are collecting unemployment from cobalt or coming to cobalt to eat. But I'm saying that they're going somewhere to eat, and that's putting pressure onto those other restaurants that don't have staff.


Brady Viccellio

Well, that's right.


Alvin Williams

I think that everybody spends that money, stimulating the economy. And that's been given by the government. But it's, it's a pressure for us to serve them.


Brady Viccellio

Yeah. It's like a catch 22?


Alvin Williams

Well, it's 44.


Brady Viccellio

I don't know if it's a perfect storm type of thing. So what we're building is this whole scenario, where what we're building in this conversation is this whole scenario, where we have this money coming from the government going into our entire community, those people who are receiving the money aren't working. Our workers, our normal workers are normal people who work for us are not working. Right. So we're relying on her very few and very appreciated core group of gunslingers who just, you know, do it for the craft, or just and, and there's a pressure on us to keep our standards up. Yeah, with, we have to do as much as we did before with far fewer resources, on labor. And on top of this, we've got to do it. They everybody expects a certain price point. And, and our costs are going up, we're having to pay our employees more, or having to pay more for food. We've got problems with we had a problem with fuel where there was an issue with people even getting, you know, getting DUIs, to work, whether, you know, they didn't have gas in their car, or whatever. And we've got to somehow find a way to do all this, to make it work to make it work what we have. So that comes to me, it's comes to menu and services.


Alvin Williams

So yeah, so to answer your, your question regarding menu, so, as a chef, which I still am, I mean, I still cook every day, in amongst doing all the other things that we have to do. That's my primary passion. So I'm still doing that. But what I've realized is that to serve everybody, the best we can do, and to help my staff to make their life easier. My kitchen staff and my service staff, I've had to streamline the menu. So that's kind of twofold. So one way we streamline is for things that package well, because we're still doing a large takeout business. So we choose menu items that we know will travel well, that package well that still look nice, and it's still bring our values of presentation and taste. And then the other ways we try to do things that streamline the process through dinner service through people coming in. So instead of some dishes that we used to do, that would take five and six pens to do one dish. I'm doing different dishes that don't take quite as much labor and then a quicker and easier to get out so people can have their meals quickly. The the cooks and the chefs are not taxed too much. And that's where I'm going right now we just kind of streamline it. So it's a lot of the favorites that we know people love and will get upset if we take them off the menu. And we're still trying to be creative with specials like right now we got soft shell crabs in so we try to take care of seasonality, but overall if we had 30 items on our menu before I'm streaming it down to 16 or 18.


Brady Viccellio

So you streamline aligning the menu which, which disappoints some some guests.


Alvin Williams

Yeah. And it does you know, I had some people in the weekend, hey, do you have this dish? No, I don't? UYou know, we're not used to say no, because that's not our thing. We try to help people as much as we can, and give them what they want.


Brady Viccellio

But when we say no, it's, it's tantamount to the customer not being right. It goes back to that same thing. They asked for, for hot dog, you're supposed to come up with a hot dog?


Alvin Williams

Well, I understand we can't have all things at all times accessible. To all the people as much as we tried to do that just you just can't.


Brady Viccellio

There’d be mayhem, or watering your product down.


Alvin Williams

And then if they get it one time, and then they come back and does a different chef or different server there. And they ask you the same thing. Again, nobody knows what they're talking about. It's just mayhem. Look at the menu, use it, if it says it comes with spinach? Well, that's because the chef's created it that way, because maybe the spinach tastes better with the duck than asparagus would. So just trust the chef, if you want to get a side of asparagus. So try to keep it keep the menu because these menus are created, you know, to work well with each other. And this is what the chef's has studied. So when the chef sees there's a duck, he knows that what he's going to put on the plate.


Brady Viccellio

Right. And, and when you're dealing with fewer people in the kitchen, and you have to communicate all of these little intricacies, right? It needs to be kept simple, which is exactly why I as well have streamlined our menu, and a disappoint some people but the truth of the matter is, without those without those cuts, yeah. Doing what we do with the with the resources, we have to do it. And to meet the expectations, there's really no other option because if we don't do that, then we disappoint a dining room for a restaurant full of people instead of just two or three people who are looking for particular items. Yeah, going back to your modifications on items. Yeah. And the communication, if you say, hey, okay, we need it, we need whatever you list off the number of items that you need.


Alvin Williams

I'm not even being unreasonable. Like we know, like we used to the sauce on the side. Now if you want sauce on the side, that's fine. But we know that people have allergies, or if they're celiac, so or whatever, you know, we're very sensitive to these things. But you know, give us a break on the you know, we'll log I want to have peace instead of carrots and isn't, it's no, just ordering, like the chef's prepared.


Brady Viccellio

It’s almost like getting two meals for the price of one.


Alvin Williams

And it slows down, that actually slows down the whole chain of service.


Brady Viccellio

And often, here's the thing with that, it's the often that particular meal will go out just fine. If I say I want peas instead of carrots, and I want I want my I don't want the peas to touch and touch the meat and I don't want that whatever, I start doing all these modifications, and my foods going to come out fine. But the people that that check that came in after mine is going to have to wait for all of that communication to happen. And, and when you have a, say a to top, the average two-top Ticket Ticket in the kitchen is what, five inches long. And then you get a bunch of minor foot modifications. And the thing is, is 18 inches long,


Alvin Williams

that ticket so long, it's hanging down into the kitchen burners and burgers. just crazy. But anyway, so we asked that the clients be a little more thoughtful when they're coming out to audit because we are stressed with a skeleton crew of staff in the kitchen and on the floor. So just ordering from the menu as it's structured makes things easier for all of us.


Brady Viccellio

Another thing that I think makes things easier, is it's important for us to know the comments, complaints, comments, compliments, whatever feedback is very important. But in my opinion, and I think you agree. Some guests find it necessary to give us management advice. Yes, and you know what they they're usually people who have never owned a restaurant before.


Alvin Williams

Exactly. Yeah.


Brady Viccellio

I owned a car lot for 35 years and we would never have people wait on on their car. we'd bring it right around for him. Yeah. So why are we? 20 minutes for our welldone steak. Yeah. You know, I think it comes down to the way your your waiters communicate with your kitchen. If you had some sort of a communication system that would Yeah, I heard this go on and on. I went out to dinner the other day or I'm sorry, it was lunch the other day and I sat for an hour having no While I listen to somebody explain to two managers into server, how they could better run the kitchen. So not well, meanwhile, the chef is back there. With he's got a dishwasher, he shown how to how to work the line. He's got his nephew washing dishes, who's You know, he grabbed from his sister and said, Hey, I need the I need your kid today. Yeah, because his dishwasher call it up and said, um, you know, I'm not going to come into work today, because we've got a video game without going to meet my friends on the chat.


Alvin Williams

I've got to go to the bank and catch my stimulus check.


Alvin Williams

So now this, these customers are tying up a server and two managers who have much better things to do. And this guy probably ordered well, and steak is concerned that I didn't reach him in 20 minutes didn't order an appetizer that he could be eating and talking with his guests. While that well known steak was being cooked, you know what my advice would be to them. And I have, and I'm not one to kick people out of my restaurant. Although I have done this on occasion, on a few occasions where it's been warranted, but my advice is, stay home, you know, everything is not going to be super perfect. But if you feel that you can grill a steak, and you can do it right and better than anyone else, then stay home and do that.


Brady Viccellio

I think that's fine advice for you to give. Other than that, I know both of us, in addition to streamlining your menus have had to change your out hours because for example, Italia, my guys there have been working so hard. And they've been doing it seven days a week. And I had to reduce to five days a week to give these guys a couple of days off.


Alvin Williams

Yep, I understand we're in the same boat. The stress and the strain, the pressure was just too much on our front and back of the house staff. So we've actually stopped doing lunches as of last week, until we can ramp up again and get more staff and give everyone days off instead of just working constantly.


Brady Viccellio

And, Alvin, I hear you're seeking a hobby.


Alvin Williams

Is this what we've been talking about yesterday?


Brady Viccellio

Yeah, you got all this extra time to have to engage in a hobby?


Alvin Williams

No, I don't have extra time. But what I what I find is that the extra time that I have, I end up doing work things and I just don't think that's fair to, you know, my family.


Brady Viccellio

You decide to set up a DJ set in your basement. Well, that's fair to your family?


Alvin Williams

Well, no, I've had the DJ set in the basement for like over a year, but I've just never had a chance or opportunity to get on and use it on the ones and twos on the ones and twos because instead of doing that, what I'll do is I'll do an email for burger night, I'll, you know, set up the specials for the next day or something. It's always work related. I'm like, this is this is crazy.


Brady Viccellio

We should enjoy your good stylings of music as well.


Alvin Williams

There will be dancing and they'll be joyous and now we can now begin to do something different Yeah, normal people have hobbies we just work all the time and it's I don't think it's good. I agree. It's not I think it's not hell it's good to have a good work ethic I'm not so sure it's good to be workaholics and just be doing work all the time.


Brady Viccellio

Yeah, I will pretty much my hobbies lately have been related--tinkering.


Alvin Williams

That's what I was saying to you, though. You need to so some stuff like boating or yachting?


Brady Viccellio

I like that stuff yes.


Alvin Williams

So do that instead of you know figuring out how to put locks on the walk you know whatever it is that you've been doing in your spare time not that you have vast amounts of spare time but do something that's different. I do I go out in the garden, which also is work. But but I do it with my daughter and she likes to pick the lettuce and we do that together so that's kind of cool. So that's kind of half work and half fun. We're trying to find a balance here.


Brady Viccellio

And you like I said my hobby has a way to set up and mess around with electronic door locks and I've got with we're redoing the some pieces of that computer network and I'm putting in cameras in certain places. Replacing cameras sounds like work but it's interesting and you know, it lets my mind rest.


Alvin Williams

You need a tan -- you should lay out on the beach.


Brady Viccellio

It's going to create shade for other people. For the uneducated listener, on your DJ lingo, what exactly are ones and twos?


Alvin Williams

The ones and twos refer to turntables. So back in the day, for people to play music, they would have two turntables usually technics or something. So there's one and then there's two, and you play the first music, and then you get the second one lined up. And then you kind of fade it in, because you you have beats per minute. And then you have a similar song. And then that way you mix it in, it's a smooth transition from song A to song B.


Brady Viccellio

I just had the Fisher Price when we played it, we played the one played on different speeds.


Alvin Williams

Yeah, no, this is a little more complex. And I suspect nowadays, it's all on laptops or on your Apple watch or something but I'm kind of old school. So I've got a microphone setup. I've got my mixer, my boards got my speaker on I'm all set up and ready to go.


Brady Viccellio

Alvin, we've done our best to try to figure out unfold where we are. Right now. Our next milestone comes out with a new guidance right around the corner.


Alvin Williams

That's right. And what we also need to do is, personally, you and I need to get back on the podcast trail because we have been a little bit remiss because we both been so busy with our restaurants, but we we promise to do more podcasts. Right?


Brady Viccellio

We do. That's a promise.


Alvin Williams

Yeah. And it's not a hobby for us, but it is therapy. It is a hobby.


Brady Viccellio

We should have mentioned that in your hobbies.


Alvin Williams

Yeah, it's a hobby. It's therapy. It's what we do, we like to stay in touch with, with our restaurant family and our restaurant people.


Brady Viccellio

Right. And I'm Brady


Alvin Williams

And I'm Alvin and this is The Check.



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