This week, we had a lot of new crew members starting in the office, so we switched from individual lunch orders to family-style catering.
Before the switch, lunch went as follows: I printed out a menu and a spreadsheet with everyone’s name on it. The menu and order form passed around the office like a ping pong ball bouncing around bowls of goldfish. Invariably, the menu would find its way to a bottleneck, usually in the form of Joe Buck the EP.
I understand, to a certain degree. For some people, the menu would get to them around 9:30am, and they’d have to answer the already-tough question, “What do you want for lunch today?”
A lot of people hemmed and hawed, saying that it was too early to think about lunch. (On a quick side note, I will never again allow the office to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. Their menu is, like, seven pages long. Too many options. Unless The Cheesecake Factory comes out with a CliffsNotes version of their menu or I can get Barry Schwartz to come in here and sort through the menu himself, it’s off the table.)
As I said, we just switched to family-style, so, instead of people making their lunchtime decision two or three hours before lunch, I now force that decision a full 20 hours before feeding time. After all, we gotta give the restaurant enough time to prepare.
And when they complain, “It’s too early,” I smile and shake my head, thinking to myself, “Deal with it, dudes.”