FRIDAY, JUNE 1: One of the worst situations a business owner can face is being forced to close beyond your control.
Audrey Tucker, owner of Island Cuisine, was in that situation last week when her restaurant had a gas leak.
She was faced with the possibility of losing her whole weekend trade — never a good prospect in the best of times, but even more so with the downturn in the economy.
Ms Tucker said: “We smelled a gas leak so we called Bermuda Gas about four o’clock. By 4:30pm they were here and by six o’clock we were closed because it was dangerous.
“We talked about it and they said it would be a two-day job. I was panicking because that’s my weekend — If they closed me on a Thursday night that meant losing all day Friday and Saturday. If they didn’t get the job done then, that meant the whole weekend.
“We never close — we close on the public holidays, but other than that, we never close. For me to be closed on a Thursday night and a Friday morning is huge for my customers.
Because they were closed a few people had asked her ‘what was wrong?’ and why were the doors shut?
She said Ernest Marshall and Lionel Swan from Bermuda Gas huddled to decide how to get Island Cuisine up and running as quickly as possible.
“Restaurants can’t afford a weekend closure. Mr Swan came by 6:30pm and started dismantling the pipes while Ernest went to town to get all the pipes and fittings he needed to complete the job.
“I was back in operation by 11:30am on Friday morning for a two-day job.
“They were fantastic. I have nothing but the best to say about Bermuda Gas in the way the handled themselves.
“They were completely professional in a time when it’s hard to get quick service and when it’s a hard time to get this kind of professionalism.”
She said sometimes a “work ethic leaves a lot to be desired” when it comes to getting service, but “was totally impressed with Ernest and the way he went about in making sure the job was done efficiently and effectively, it was fantastic to be back open by twelve o’clock.”
Ms Tucker said they were cooking lunch by noon on Friday.
“The weekends are where restaurants make their money so if you’re closed, oh my gosh, that’s terrible.
“I have nothing by praises to sing to Bermuda Gas
“I’m completely happy with how they handled the situation and I’m now on a contract where they come in and check the gas lines a couple of times a year and that hadn’t happened before.”
Mr Marshall said: “We unfortunately had to break the news we had to close the restaurant. Ms Tucker was distraught because her main business was the weekend.
“We promised her we would have her up by lunchtime the next day.
We just want to make sure our customers are happy.”