How has it only been four weeks since we first opened our doors in downtown Rockford? It's been a whirlwind. An incredible whirlwind, but a whirlwind nonetheless. Frank said he feels like one day he was painting a wall and the next day he was making tacos. And that's pretty much how it went.
Every day we've learned something new and made adjustments. Our very first day we had to hand-write order tickets because our kitchen ticket printer didn't work. The second day we had it up and running, but the way the tickets printed didn't communicate the orders clearly to the kitchen. We changed our POS system. We also learned on Day 1 that we were short-handed so we called in the K's mom and she's been there every day since (and she thought she was retired).
Our first week we sold out of tacos every day. We had to close early and open late. Frank worked from 7am to 1am more than once. Seriously. And he still didn't have time to reorder supplies. We cut back our hours of operation starting week 2 just to have enough time to effectively prep and reorder and clean. We started taking phone orders as much as possible to reduce the wait.
We determined shifts for the team based on the pattern of when we're busiest (and there's a clear pattern). We have more coverage for opening prep and later coverage for closing and cleaning. We leave by 10pm most nights now -- once we even left by 8:30, so we're making progress!
We added Quesadillas and Quesa Tacos. We introduced specials including Lengua, El Puerquito, and Al Pastor. We got our first orders of branded merch to sell (t-shirts, hats, and koozies). We have chips and a new salsa starting this week!
Progress every day. And that's all operational. It says nothing about the the incredible people we've met and friends we've made every single day. We cannot say enough about how amazing the community is and how much we love being a part of it. Linda brought us delicious brownies as a welcome to the neighborhood and told us she's been doing that for new businesses for some 20+ years. We tracked down Stella and got her belated birthday tacos for her 85th. We celebrated our grand opening ribbon cutting with fellow members of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and we brought in mariachi singer, Gabriel Estrada III, to perform! Frank's mom visited, joining the team for a couple of days making tortillas.
We've made memories that will last our lifetime, and it's only been 4 weeks.
We're excited to head into week 5! We're going to keep doing our best and making improvements as we forge ahead. We look forward to serving more tacos and smiles.