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Mojito Mo’ Problems

One mojito leads to many mojito
One mojito leads to many mojito

It’s officially summer! The days are longer, the patio is full of people ordering one mojito after another and the HVAC guy has been on your roof three times in the last month.

Summer, as it is, can be a bit of a mixed bag. Tourists, patio sections and off sites can bring in more business, but contending with the heat and humanity (I mean humidity) can make things a challenge. Here are a few things to think about as we head into the hot summer months.

Drink Water
While we’re not exactly living in the golden age of potable water, we’ve got some options.
From tap to La Croix to Topo Chico, if you need to hydrate you’re covered. And hydrate you should – we’re looking at some long hot days of patio service and broken swamp coolers. You’ll also want those 4 pints of water per day so you can drink your 6 cans of Old German each night. And if Old German isn’t your thing, some MacArthur Grant deserving genius thought to put rosé in a can, too.

Don’t trust the AC
The AC in your restaurant is going to break. It’s going to break during a particularly hot and busy service. It’s going to be awhile before the HVAC guy can make it up to your roof for a 4th time this month. And then the owner is going to be all sorts of salty about the whole ordeal. Since it’s inevitable, have a plan in place before the AC goes down. Do you have windows that open? Do those windows have screens? Has anyone seen that stick thing you need to open the transoms with? What is a transom?

You should know the answers to all those questions.

Don’t trust your coolers
While it’s less likely than the AC failing, your coolers could quit, too. They’ll also choose the least convenient time and the HVAC guy will not be able to save you. Luckily, not all the coolers will die at the same time (he said while looking nervously around.) So just as you have a plan for the AC, have a plan for the coolers. Where can you get ice? Where can you store ice? Do all your coolers have working thermostats (as mandated by the Health Dept)?

Just a little thoughtful planning can save a lot of seafood.

Don’t trust your guests to not order mojitos
Mojitos come in a green wave of orders. Once someone orders one, the rest of the section will follow like children entranced by the pied piper-like rhythms of the bartender muddling mint. Before the orders come flooding in, make sure the bar has all the limes and mint they can store, as well as a clearly marked backup in the walk-in. I liked storing them together in one large cambro since it made pulling together the supplies that much quicker. Sometimes people think the mojitos won’t happen.

They are wrong.

Get some sleep
Ok, that’s not going to happen. We’ll all get more sleep in the fall. Summer nights are their own particular type of joy so you should go out and enjoy them. If you live close enough, you can walk home (maybe with a road soda in your hand). Bike rides, swims and beers in backyards weave the fabric of a memorable summer. If you can, get out of town for a few days – it doesn’t even matter where you go. Just take the time to get away from thoughts of broken AC’s and coolers and dilapidated patio furniture.

Summer time living is easy, but only as easy as you make it.

Jack Hott

Jack Hott has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. Along the way he’s flipped burgers, tossed pizzas and spilled a lot of wine on white table cloths.

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