2019 at Baltzersen’s
This post is going to give you a bit of an update about what you can expect from Baltzersen’s as we head into 2019.
We published a more comprehensive round up of the year as part of a post linked with our 6th birthday celebrations in October so we aren’t going to revisit the whole of 2018, but we will start with a brief look back at the end of the year.
We held the second FredagsRamen event at the very end of November and once again you came out for it in force. The chefs put together a menu that stretched some people a little further than we probably expected and was challenging to deliver. We were able to accommodate most dietary requirements and that was no mean feat given the type of food they were cooking.
I have to hold my hands up on this one and carry the can for some of the initial confusion which impacted on the enjoyment of some guests
These events are a huge amount of hard work for all involved and purely by the nature of the service (being different to our usual format) quite stressful too! I am grateful to the team for continuing to volunteer to be involved and for really taking the challenge head on.
At this stage we are going to shelve FredagsRamen and FredagsTaco for a little while and explore other options. What we can say at this stage is that we are looking to collaborate with some other chefs/businesses to bring a run of interesting food focused events to town. We’re going to keep it pretty casual and try to make it affordable too.
We have one event provisionally lined up for 9th March and we should be able to announce this towards the end of January.
Opening the New Coffee Shop
We moved pretty quickly on the coffee shop and it took just around 6 weeks from agreeing to take the unit to getting it open and ready for business.
Things have settled into a rhythm for the team so we have service in there under control.
If you haven’t visited yet then do drop in for a coffee and cake/pastry over the next couple of weeks and see what you think. The atmosphere is certainly a little different to the cafe and we think that’s a positive as it will help us to offer something a little different to what we already have.
One thing that has become apparent fairly quickly is that at peak times the limited menu does mean the space isn’t quite helping us as much as it could in terms of relief from queues.
Despite our best intentions planning for January often starts a little late at Baltzersen’s because we’re always so busy throughout December. We’re trying to spend some time with our families at the same time as hosting you and your extended families! It’s a very important time of year for all bricks and mortar businesses be it in retail or hospitality.
Another reason we tend to leave things quite late is that we are never entirely sure how well Christmas will go, and how much things drop off in January, so in terms of budgeting that presents a bit of a challenge too.
Farewell to Swish
One of the first orders of business in the new year will be to wave goodbye to our Head Chef Matt Swiech. ‘Swish’ has been with us for over 3 years and has served just short of two years as Head Chef. He has overseen a lot of change within the business and was instrumental in delivering the series of six FredagsTaco events in 2018.
He leaves us to take up a position with Laynes Espresso in Leeds. We thank him for all his effort over his time at Baltzersen’s and wish him the best of luck in the future.
Swish will be succeeded by Martin Cooper who joined the team in May of 2018. Martin was the brains behind our FredagsRamen events towards the end of last year and has the requisite experience to affect a seamless transition. We’ll be interviewing Martin for the blog in early January so we can let you know what he has in store for you in the near future.
Shift Leader Emma will be stepping behind the scenes and taking a position as a chef from January. In the short term it means Paul will be seen working the floor a little more often whilst we work out who we need to recruit to fill the gap.
Closedown Wk Commencing 21 Jan 19
We’ll be briefly closing our doors over the week commencing 21 Jan 19 (exact dates for both sides TBC) to allow us to do that routine maintenance that we just can’t get done in a 7 days/week operation.
We are hoping to knock a hatch through the rear of the coffee shop to allow access from the kitchen to both sides of the site. If we are able to achieve this we’ll trial offering the full Baltzersen’s cafe menu in both locations. We really hope this will ease the queues.
Launch of online ordering system
We’ve done a lot of bespoke cake orders for guests over the years and by our own admission we’ve not always had the most formal process or system for doing this.
We don’t want to continue in this vein so we’re developing a website where you will be able to place orders for whole cakes, larger quantities of pastries and also traybakes if you wish.
We should also be able to make this the hub for event bookings for things like our gingerbread decorating classes and evening events.
We’re fairly happy now with how Baltzersen’s Rewards is performing from a speed of service point of view at the till. The next step is for us to continue to us the system to add value to your visits with us.
If you’re still unsure how the system works (our previous blog post covers the basics) then do ask one of the team. We know there has been a few issues when signing up to the Loyalzoo App – but we now have solutions in place for this so keep talking with us if there are on-going challenges. You can sign up for the app by searching for Loyalzoo in the Appstore or via Google Play.
We’ve scheduled 4 x double points days during weekdays in January so keep an eye out for those, we’ll be announcing them soon and we plan to add more rewards this year too.
Any Ideas for us?
That’s about as far as we’ve got in terms of planning for the new year. There are other things on our minds but nothing we can expand upon at this stage.
If you have a great idea that you think Baltzersen’s should be thinking about then do write in the comments or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re always pleased to hear from you.