At the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge (KML), we take every moment to learn from our past and influence the future through this Copper County landmark. Today was a learning experience for our lodge team and management. The KML values transparency with our customers, and with new ownership, we want to take a moment to let all of our guests understand the uncommon incident that occurred tonight at the lodge.
In the excitement over Experience The Keweenaw -Taste of the Harbor event, we proudly sent staff down to serve our prime rib taco cross-over – the Prime on the Run. Our three members in attendance at the event were able to help raise over $200 for the Copper Harbor Trails Club. The success of this event was a cheerful experience for the staff that attended and were able to meet with various community members who were excited to taste the food being made at the Lodge.
Up the hill at the Lodge, our team faced a different situation. This weekend was the first busy weekend that we as a team faced at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, with both a gorgeous day for golfing and a perfect day to spend outside in the Keweenaw. Shortly after our few staff members left to work the Taste of the Harbor event, we at the lodge were blessed to see a high increase in our dining patrons; this was unexpected as we felt most people would be attending the Copper Harbor event. As the rush of new guests filled our dining hall, our team at the lodge quickly became overwhelmed and we were understaffed. Our one server on shift was responsible for tending to the dining tables – which had filled our porch dining area. Our wait staff and kitchen staff worked diligently, but we still faced a dilemma tonight. We were unable to meet our high standards of service which resulted in customers having waited up to two hours for food.
We are becoming more aware that our new staff is still adjusting to our new season menus and that our wait staff can easily become overwhelmed if a rush like this occurs. We had believed that with the event in Copper Harbor would draw the dinner crowd, but unfortunately, we made this wrong assumption. Going forward, we now understand that the crowd in Copper Harbor is likely to flow into our atmosphere.
Leading up to this day, we at the KML faced a few challenges- with power outages yesterday from the winds to tonight with our staffing miscalculation, kitchen changes, our lead chef being under the weather and unable to be in the kitchen to communicate to with the team, underestimating our food inventory, and bar spills – but we promise all that we plan to learn from these challenges.
Our Learning Points:
- Ensure we have a backup chef and become better prepared with our menus
- Decrease our service bottleneck/backup in the kitchen
- Test our generators and be more aware of what those generators are able to power including our water plant and pressure
- Double down and ensure we are well staffed early in our season
To all those who were dining in the lodge tonight for dinner, the team at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge would like to send a sincere appreciation for your patience and understanding with the struggles we faced tonight. We hope you understand that we plan to take this experience, not in stride, but to be proactive to ensure that we will learn from tonight’s incident to keep improving our service in the restaurant and overall operations.
As we look forward to tomorrow Memorial Day breakfast, we have already begun preparing for the breakfast tomorrow and increased our staff to provide a more joyous experience our customers. We hope to see many familiar and new faces for breakfast on this upcoming Memorial Day. We would also like to extend a thank you to the men and women who served in our armed forces and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom here at home.
From the staff at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge – Thank you and we wish the best to everyone on this Memorial Day.