Houston 2012: Day One

(this is the third post in a series detailing my work trip to Houston.)

Day one is over.

My flight went without a hitch. I love flying and I am absolutely fascinated by airplanes, so everything pertaining to my travel today was grand.

After I departed the plane I met up with Shawn, the Vice President of International Operations at Bennigan’s and waited for five other trainers to meet up with us and another guy Lucas. While Shawn went in to the baggage claim to get the other five, I kinda picked Lucas’s brain about what to expect and the about the brand too.

The group of trainers we have here is great. I feel we are all going to get along well. Other than me, there is Tommy from Lansing; Heather, Megan, Tito and Korrey (my roommate) from Appleton, Wisc.; Vince and Cecelia from Chicago; Yedid and Lucas from Tampa, Fla.; and Christina and Ashlie from Lake Worth, Texas.

We had a brief (and by brief I mean two hours) orientation at the store where we went over a few ice breakers and team building exercises. I have a feeling that I am going to learn a plethora of tricks and tips that I will be able to take back to Saginaw. The hours look daunting, but I know I’ll be able to handle it. All I see are dollar signs.

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The restaurant itself is nice. The dining area is about half the size as the restaurant in Saginaw, and I give the kitchen too much credit by saying it is small. It’s tiny. The broiler is probably a third the size of the the one we have in Saginaw, so it will be interesting to see how we can manage to cook using such small equipment. From what I understand, Houston had 18 Bennigan’s locations before corporate filed for bankruptcy and this the first store to open since.

After our orientation we went out to dinner as a group with the four managers and the owner, who was generous and paid for the entire meal of the 18 of us. We went to El Tiempo Cantina, an authentic Mexican restaurant, and the food was delicious. Apparently in Texas they have this dip simply called “green sauce” and boy, is it amazing. The two trainers from Texas didn’t know what was in it so I had to solicit a former Houstonian (not sure if correct vernacular) who told me what it is. Tasty stuff.

When we got back to the hotel after dinner, Tommy and I walked over to a small bar for a few drinks. What happened while we were there will stay between the two of us. What happens in Houston, stays in Houston.

Gotta be awake and in the lobby ready to go by 9:15 a.m., so I’m signing off.

Keep checking back for updates throughout my travels while I’m down in Texas. I am going to try and post every day.

Until next time …

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