Travel Series – To Do List

T Minus 2 days until we leave for Hawaii!

The Breathtaking Sunset View from the Hale Koa Hotel Pool

That means I have a lot to do before we leave for our trip. As an entrepreneur, preparing for a trip (business or pleasure) takes a lot of preparation. Not only do you have to think about the things you need to do that are pertaining to your trip, but you also have to think about the processes that are laid in place so that your business doesn’t fall apart while you’re gone. Granted, we’re only going to be gone for 4 days – and you know what they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Either way, I have a lot of prep to do before we leave!

Vacation related:

  • Look through updated packing list and start putting things aside
  • Take fur baby to the groomer
  • Do laundry
  • Clean up the house
  • Run the dishwasher
  • Wash sheets

Business related:

  • Create daily agendas for my team
  • Create opening, midday, and closing checklists for my team
  • Send out all online orders
  • Prepare timesheet for payroll
  • Write blog posts
  • Schedule social media content
  • Pay bills
  • Make sure kitchen is fully stocked for the weekend
  • Fill the managers in for what to expect this week

It’s a lot, I know. I’m getting overwhelmed just thinking about it. If you could only see my Todoist app now, it’s all of this in more detail. GAH! But it’s ok, all I can do is chip away at the list – 1 thing at a time.

xoxo,

Kissa

Travel Series – Shopping List

YO GIRL IS GOING TO HAWAII!!!

TBH I’m not sure if I’m excited or stressed to go because of Ninong’s moving, but I do know that I love Hawaii! I love the atmosphere, the people, the food. I’m sure once I get there all my worries will go away. 🙂

This trip crept up on me so I haven’t had a chance to prepare or plan, but considering how much I traveled last year I think it’ll be a breeze! Last time I traveled I created an Packing List Template in Evernote for myself to make things easier to prepare before a trip. Now I use that as a master list and then just add and delete items based on the trip. I always think I have plenty of time and then next thing I know I’m leaving the next day and I haven’t even packed yet! That’s why this template comes in so handy.

Since we’re going to Hawaii with family that has never been before, we want to give them the ultimate first-timer’s experienc – a little bit of the touristy stuff and a taste of the local experience. That being said, I’m going to need a wardrobe with variety and versatility. Something semi-formal, a lot of bathing suits, something casual, and some activewear.

We’re only going to be there for 4 days, so I’m going to just be taking a carry on. That means I need to maximize the space in my luggage so I can fit everything I need (with maybe a little room for gifts to bring back home).

As far as wardrobe I don’t plan on buying anything. I think most of what I plan on wearing while I’m there I already have with the exception of maybe 1 new bathing suit and a cover up.

I’m also trying to keep my technology list to a minimum so I don’t work “too much” while I’m there. I plan on keeping my laptop home and just taking my iPad and iPhone with me.

Speaking of iPad – it’s my best friend when traveling! I download a bunch of shows, movies, books, and magazines on that thing and I’m good to go. I can use it while I’m on the plane to write blogs, do some hand lettering, and even bookkeeping. It’s so great to have something so versatile with me so that I have everything at my fingertips but isn’t super heavy.

As far as toiletries go sunscreen is a must but since I’m planning on just taking a carry on I’m going to buy a bottle from Costco when I get to Hawaii. I’m going to need a lot of sunscreen since we plan to be out and about as much as possible. Then double that because Charlie is going to need some too! Same goes with my shampoo, conditioner, etc. This is a tip I always give people traveling in groups or as couples. If you can buy some of your toiletries at your end destination to save space and weight in your luggage!

I also got a bunch of things that help make traveling easier since my last trip like packing cubes, bluetooth headphones, a mini backpack (Thanks Mom and Dad Ortega!), and a lightweight travel bag like this one.

So excited to show the family around the island!

xoxo,

Kissa

Restaurant Series – What to Expect

When I was brainstorming my angle for this post I was originally thinking about people that have never opened a restaurant before. But as a person that  has been working full time in the restaurant business for almost 5 years and seeing my family run the restaurant for an additional 5 years there’s still SO much that I didn’t know about. Because of this I decided that I needed to dedicate one post in this series to what to expect when opening a restaurant and/or moving an existing one.

  1. First thing’s first. Nothing is going to go to plan. You’re going to run into road blocks, things won’t go as planned, and things are going to take longer than you thought.
  2. You need to hire professionals. I can’t stress this enough. My contractor, Matt of Hunt Construction, and my architect, Robert of E2 Design, were a God send! I can’t sing their praises enough. Hire people that you trust and understand your expectations. Because I hired people I trust and understood very well what I was hoping to accomplish it was easy to lean on them when I had questions. When it comes to restaurant build outs or remodels you want someone that does it right the first time and is familiar with what the City requires. That leads me to my next point.
  3. Know the City requirements. This is why hiring experienced professionals is so key. You’re not going to know what the City requires if you’ve never done this before. Even the professionals that have experience run into new requirements all the time. Our restaurant didn’t open when we hoped because we ran into unexpected requirements and small road blocks. The building and health code books for LA County is so overwhelming so the best thing to do is rely on your trusted professionals to help guide your way.
  4. Permits are not cheap. Building permits, health permits…and stupid me, I forgot to budget for those. For the City of LA I believe overall building permits are a percentage of the overall cost of your build out (I know, sucky right?!) and then there are the plumbing permits, mechanical permits, electrical permits, etc. The health permit for the City of LA was over $1000 for our restaurant. 
  5. Whatever you think it’s going to cost, multiply that by at least 3. We had a budget in mind, but we went over. It was unavoidable though. We needed to pump grease traps, hydro-jet the lines, put in a new fire system, clean the hood…it was an endless list. I felt like all I was doing was writing checks.
  6. You’re going to live in your restaurant for a while. People think that restaurants could be an easy way to make money and that it would be low maintenance if they just hired a manager to manage it for them. NOPE. Get that out of your mind right now. No matter what, for your restaurant to have success you need to invest time. At least in the beginning. You need to establish the expectation, train, teach, iron out operations.
  7. You won’t know what you’re doing for a little while. No matter how long you’ve been cooking your food or serving your customers a new space will throw anyone off. It’s going to take a little while to get acquainted to where everything is, where you put everything, and how you’ll set everything up. Once you “nest” a little bit it’ll get better.
  8. It’s going to come down to the wire. That day before you officially open you’re going to have a laundry list of things to do. Even if you didn’t procrastinate, you’re going to remember things at the last second. Before we opened we were working from 6 am until almost 3 am and there still wasn’t enough hours in the day.
  9. Expect the unexpected. You’ll definitely learn a great deal, get really stressed, have a few mental break downs, and lose sleep. But honestly, this experience has been so rewarding to see people walking into our place and enjoying themselves. All we can do is approach these unexpected hurdles with grace, trust in the process, and know it’ll all work out.

xoxo,

Kissa