Weekend from Hell !!!!

This weekend has been absolutely hell for us staff wise. It is a long weekend with Monday being a Public Holiday. The State show is on (I guess like your state or county fair) for the week, spring school holidays plus the final exams for final high school leavers is coming up in a few weeks. As we have a lot of school age staff this has impacted on our workforce. To top it off 2 of our drivers are interstate for the Univeristy sports games which are held every year. These 2 do Friday, one does Saturday both do Sunday and the other does Monday deliveries. Another driver is sick and another only works Saturdays and the other was away on leave.

We had a big black hole staff wise, especially drivers.

On Friday we only had 6 from or total of 22 staff available to cover shifts with no drivers (normally 3 on). Luckily the night was a real dud down about $800 - $1000 on normal Fridays and few deliveries ordered.

Saturday was a real good night, well up on normal for this night (Grand Final of the AFL - like your super bowl) which is normally a dud for us as the game is on tV at midday and most people have footy parties but with little if any pizzas. The whole industry is quiet this day, but for some reason we ahd a big one with minimal staff. We actuall sold out of our normal Saturday roll out at 9.15pm so that was good. Had one driver on for the night so we worked on a restricted delivery area to cope.

Sunday again no drivers and lost a few orders but had one of our biggest ever Sundays closing well after our normal close time as customers just kept coming through the door. All the staff had gone and I was by my self doing the counter, makebench and oven tending - very talented/skilled operator here :lol:

The week ended up being a good one after looking to be a disaster after Friday night.

Tonight, Monday public holiday again no drivers but we aren’t expecting a huge night so we shoud be oK as we have ample staff on duty in the shop.

Luckily most customers understand the situation as every week there is something either in the papers or on TV about the dire shortages of staff in the hospitality industry. It is like they are conditioned to it now and if we have delivery drivers available it is a bonus.

The next few weeks are going to be bad staff wise until the exams, holidays, show and sports are over then we will be swamped by the staff looking for extra shifts.

It never rains but it pours.


I feel ya’ dog.

Drivers are killing me as well. Kitchen guy moved away, and prospects are slim. You’d have thought with our economy tanking, people would love jobs and extra part-time jobs for extra money.

Hope your wife and daughter are doing well here in the USA.

Quick Australia cultural question… One thing your country is known for a lot here is sheep. Mostly I think of it as wool related. But I was wondering if you end up with a lot of mutton and lamb on the market there? Do you ever see it on pizza? Do you ever see it substituted for what would be beef or veal here in the USA in Italian style dishes? Are there any types of sausages commonly made from mutton and/or lamb?

On a related note, I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard that the most utilized meat worldwide is goat. So do you see goat on the menus there?

For most Americans away from the largest population cities, the only sheep or goat related meat products typically seen are gyros and lamb chops/rack of lamb. While most everyone has had other mutton products at some time, it just isn’t common for most people.

With our servere drought across Australia for the past few years a lot of sheep have been culled with record low flock numbers now recorded. A lot of our sheep meat goes overseas with mutton in particular going to the Middle East on live sheep ship transport for Muslim / Halal killing in their own country. Mutton is near on impossible to buy here now.

As far as lamb goes we have recently added three lamb base pizzas to our goyrmet range, one Aussie style with potato and pumpkin, a Greek spiced one with eggplant, roasted peppers and zucchini and a Morrocan spiced one with baby spinach, preserved lemon, red onion and cous cous. These have taken off really well and bring in a good $ sale price ($20 for a 13" large).

We are similar with lamb as chops, leg roasts and racks of lamb the most common use.

Haven’t seen much goat about as it is still regarded as a gourmet type product due to most recipies being specialised and not everyday cooking type product. As goats are mainly feral in most countries it is not regarded as an ideal eating meat here. It is a fairly strong tasting meat not to everyones palate.

Not many sausages are made of lamb due to the low yield of meat from a lamb plus it is a fairly high dollar value meat nowdays. You would find lamb sausages in gourmet butcher shops but not in your normal meat retailers.

One meat that is not used much here is kangaroo. It has a “game” type taste but can be very tasty on some cuts of it. We do not see it much as an eating meat rather as a pet meat product. I would love to do a kangaroo meat based pizza but the cost is around $35 kg which puts it out of the equation.


Dave, those are some great sounding pizza combinations and a great tie-in to your regional foodstuffs. Someday I will have to get down there!

We do some similar things with Elk, Wild Boar, Pheasant and Buffalo (American Bison) meats that have been both popular and differentiating. I think that this kind of thing is a great opportunity for indi stores to separate themselves from the big guys. It is also impossible for someone to price shop us on Elk pizza with the local Dominos.

We charge 3X our normal topping price for these special meats. (all are cooked 4X1 sausage that we slice) Our portion for a 16" pizza is 4oz and we charge $5.10 for the topping.