Another Brick in the Wall

I was born, or more specifically molded, dried, fired in a kiln, and cooled at Cherokee Brick & Tile in Jackson, Mississippi.  My life was exactly as expected.  I was stacked with my brothers and sisters on a pallet, and moved through distribution very quickly to my ultimate home, where I thought I would spend the rest of my life in peace and tranquility as part of the front wall of a restaurant.  I was placed there when it was built eight years ago and had great views of the cars going by and all the hustle and bustle of daily life; I could even hear the ocean from my location.  Life doesn’t get much better for a brick. Until… In my worst nightmare, I would never have guessed I’d be separated from my siblings, lying on the hood of a car, in the front dining room of my favorite restaurant.

I heard the police officer reading the narrative from his report to the restaurant manager:

“At approximately 9:30 PM, a metallic blue sedan crashed through the front window of the premises.  Driver passed field sobriety test.  Driver received medical attention at the accident site, no injuries sustained. Cause of accident, operator error, ‘foot slipped off pedal’.”

The tow truck is on the way, but more important to me, RFS has been called and are in route!

RFS is a general contractor that specializes in restaurant facility restoration and renovation nationwide.  We see them a lot, because they are a trusted partner for this national restaurant chain.  They’ve partnered with our parent company, across several chains, and I’ve seen their trucks here at my restaurant a few times.  Because they work with our facility manager with logistics and scheduling, and they are aligned with our corporate cost control measures, RFS makes every effort to consolidate jobs by geography and even specific restaurants to keep expenses down.  The last time they were here at my restaurant, they replaced a dish-ring, re-grouted the kitchen tile, and replaced the ceiling tile grid and ceiling tiles in the back of the house.  They also hung some new drywall and replaced the wall-covering in the front of the house where we had a roof leak that led to some water damage.  RFS can do it all; but back to my dilemma on this night!

RFS arrived before the car was removed from the hole in the wall.  They had a crew at another restaurant an hour away, and split up so they could get us put back together.  The night of the accident, they cleaned up the mess, placed me in a stack with my siblings, and made a temporary repair of the damaged area with plywood and supports.  They knew exactly what needed to be done to keep us open for business.

The RFS Project Manager coordinated with the restaurant Facility Manager to match glass, flooring, wall covering, and order a new table, chairs and booth…everything needs to match at my restaurant, we have a brand to maintain.  The quote was quickly approved for the full restoration, and the crew was back before I knew it, making things happen! They worked three nights in a row, making sure that the restaurant was ready for the prep crew when the first employee arrived to work each morning – we stayed operational every day during this unfortunate incident.

As I recollect upon this situation, several months have passed.  I’m back, good as new, with some new mortar in place, in a slightly different location in the wall than where I was before.  It’s kind of nice though, I have a different view of traffic, and see some additional parking spots, and can even see across the street because I’m higher up than before.  I not only hear the ocean, but can see it too.  It’s great how RFS turned lemons into lemonade.  I’m so happy our Facility Manager views RFS as a trusted partner and goes to them first.  RFS truly backs up their brand – and they are what my family calls “A Brick House” that is truly “Remodeling the Renovation Experience”.  As for me, I’m thrilled to once again, be…another brick in the wall.

Who else worked on July 4th weekend?

Ron Wilhite featured in Retail & Restaurant Facility Business Industry Voices