The Holy Spirit Knights of Columbus kicked off the 2022 Lent season Fish Frys on Friday, March 4th with another drive-through operation and online sales. Last year’s drive-through Fish Frys went off very well despite the COVID-19 restrictions imposed worldwide. The key to our operation’s success is the effectiveness of the order-taking process, as the car line begins to grow longer, and longer, and longer. Luckily we don’t have to reinvent the wheel since a certain fast-food chicken chain has already set the bar, albeit too high for us, but it is worth trying to emulate it.
Not surprisingly the first fish fry of the year is usually well attended by both parishioners and Knights, and you could never have too many of either. On the first Friday of Lent, we sold 219 meals and most of them were preordered online, which really helps keep things moving quickly, especially when the line starts forming 30 minutes before opening time. The second Friday turned bitterly cold and windy but it did not keep the Knights from coming to work nor parishioners from coming to support us. We sold 135 meals that day despite the strong wind and icy rain. Our outdoor cooking team, led by David Ybarra and included Efrain Ochoa, David Dybala, Jose Montoya, fried the fish, french fries, and hush puppies. This past Friday they managed to shelter the cooking area under a partly wrapped tent, which kept everyone warm and happy.
The inside kitchen crew prepared the coleslaw, thawed out the fish, and kept the ready food warm in the ovens. Thanks to James Smith, Greg Warr, Jeff Miller, Mike Fitzgerald, Marc Evans, Larry Balagna, Eduardo Florentes, and John Espree. The food packing team consisted of Allen Reitmeier, Lady Mary Archer, Lady Cappie Wood, Lady Cindy Florentes, Hector Rubio, Steven Reid, and Russell Leroy.
On the frontlines, the outside team taking the orders from hungry parishioners consists of Grand Knight Jorge Ruiz, Jesse Zuñiga, Richard Juarez, Robbie Zablan, Jim Russell, and new Knight Antonio Liska (and his 2 children). The team handled the car line very efficiently as the GK worked the laptop checking off orders and passed the info to the runners who would bring meals out to the car line. Meanwhile, the order takers greeted customers with a smile and either took an order number or a new order paid for by cash or credit card. On both Fridays, we sold an average of 43 meals from drive-through customers who did not preorder.
The drive-through service opens for business at 5:30 PM with a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed staff, but by the time the cleanup work starts at 8 PM, everyone has slowed down a bit as the methodical work of cleaning, take down and put away takes us to the 9 o’clock hour.
In the near future, we may offer an option for customers to dine inside in the dining room, but we want to wait for COVID restrictions to be removed before doing so, as working the additional areas would require a lot more helpers. For the time being, we are happy to serve you with drive-through service and don’t forget that KofC Fish-Fil-A is closed on Sundays.