Diary of a Cookshopby Ali and Mel Done
Directors of Cook To Perfection, King’s Lynn.
You can read Diary of a Cookshop in full in Housewares Magazine. Don't receive the magazine? To find out more click here.
Stepping up to Sunday opening20/03/2012 11:29:49
January seemed really quiet, especially after the Christmas rush. But at least it gave us the chance to give the shop a really good clean, check stocks and make plans for this year - which include regular Sunday opening for the first time from March. We have avoided Sundays, but with the large business rate increase due in April, we are taking the plunge. According to other local businesses, Sunday is their second best day of the week in terms of revenue, so we're optimistic that it will be worthwhile.
The New Year window displays included a Chinese New Year theme, promoting a special offer on an IO Shen Chinese vegetable slicer. The other window featured sheep - just because we could!
One of our purchases this month was a retractable barrier for the till area. We keep our knives on the wall behind the counter but customers kept walking behind the tills to look at them. When we politely asked them to go round to the other side of the counter (where we could help them), we received some unrepeatable responses! Thankfully the barrier is working and we've introduced a separate area for customers to try knives, with a few vegetables and a chopping board, which is keeping everyone happy.
There were some great cooking shows on TV including MasterChef, How to Cook Like Heston and The Fabulous Baker Brothers. The brothers were responsible for us selling out of cleavers in one morning, after they were seen splitting a sandwich in half with a resounding thud. Not something most sane-minded people would do, but that's the power of the media!
The Fire Safety Officer paid us a visit in February to do an official audit. We had been testing our evacuation procedures in readiness, by getting everyone to vertically scale the outside of our three-storey building on the fire
escape ladders. Not something you see every day! Thankfully the audit went well, but when was the last time you had a fire drill, had your fire extinguishers serviced, checked your emergency lighting or ensured your fire risk assessment was up to date?
You can read Diary of a Cookshop in full in the January/February 2012 edition of Housewares Magazine. Don't receive the magazine? To find out more click here.