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After packing up his notes, Pei Qian walked out of the office.
“Put down your work, everyone.
“Let’s go to Ming House at 4 PM for a feast. I’ve already sent the reservation for the group. The company cars can ferry some of you there. The rest of you can find your own rides. Remember to keep the receipts.”
After Pei Qian finished speaking, everyone looked indifferent and cold. Hao Yun rested her head in her hands, looking like it hurt.
Pei Qian was interrupting everyone’s work again!
She glanced at her watch. It was only past 3 PM. They had barely started work for the afternoon!
They could not work over the weekend and were already having trouble finishing their food. On top of that, Boss Pei kept thinking of ways to shorten their working time. It was always one hour on one day, and two hours the next…
If this was allowed to continue, how could they finish their work?!
Although everyone wasted no time and began work almost immediately after arriving at the office, they could not stop Boss Pei from organizing activities when he felt like it.
Take this time for example; they had been given no advanced notice whatsoever.
Thus, many people did not know how to react. Instead, they continued tapping away at their keyboards as quickly as possible as if trying to take their frustrations on it.
Pei Qian’s brows furrowed slightly.
There was a problem with those people’s mindsets!
Although we have gatherings and meals regularly, it doesn’t give you an excuse to work harder!
There was a problem with anyone who did not feel excited about going for meals.
Pei Qian cleared his throat. “I’ll give you five minutes to save your documents. Then, gather downstairs.
“Little Tang, pull the switch in five minutes!”
Tang Yishu quickly stood up and said, “Ah, alright!”
They all immediately rushed to save their work.
At 4 PM sharp, everyone slowly walked into Ming House.
The high-end restaurant was not exactly located in Jingzhou’s core business district, but it was close by.
It was near Huanyu Tianjie but not inside. That was probably because they could not find a space big enough in the shopping mall. This was a three-level standalone building. The outside was decorated in an ancient, charming manner with red bricks and gray cement. It looked quite impressive.
Pei Qian walked into Ming House and immediately noticed Boss Li.
“Boss Pei! Welcome, welcome!”
“Boss Li, I trust you have been well since we last met.”
Both men greeted each other and exchanged a couple of pleasantries.
Boss Li saw a huge group of people behind Boss Pei. “Everyone, please come in. Boss Pei booked the entire place. Please come in and sit down!”
Li Shi felt quite moved, seeing that Boss Pei had brought so many people with him. Although he was only giving everyone a thirty-percent discount and he was not earning profits from this meal, Boss Pei was already showing him a lot of respect as a good friend by coming to try the food!
Li Shi had thought that Boss Pei had just been being polite by saying he would pay them a visit.
After all, that was a common thing to say when doing business. Once Ming House opened, it became the nameless restaurant’s competitor. Boss Pei may have said that he would visit the restaurant, but what could he have been thinking inside?
Still, he had brought his entire company for a meal here. That was no simple visit. He was being very loyal!
Wouldn’t it have been better for them to have the gathering at Ming Yun Private Kitchen?
Li Shi knew his own situation. Even if Ming House was better than all the other restaurants in Jingzhou City, it still could not compare to Ming Yun Private Kitchen!
By having their gathering here, Boss Pei was putting his pride down and showing a lot of support for Li Shi!
Thus, Li Shi quickly instructed the branch manager and the waiters to provide the best service and not to slack off.
Once he took his seat, Pei Qian looked around.
All things aside, the renovations were quite well done. Obviously, a lot of work and money had been poured into doing the place up.
The furniture, cutlery, and decorations all had an ancient style to them. They looked very tasteful.
However, as Pei Qian flipped through the menu, he realized that the variety of food provided here was not as good as Ming Yun Private Kitchen.
On further thought, this made sense. Both restaurants were high-end restaurants, but the direction that each took was different.
Li Shi and Wang Peng knew that if they wanted to open a high-end restaurant, their best bet would be to work with the nameless restaurant.
That was because the nameless restaurant had already built a reputation for itself. Everyone would also understand if Boss Pei did not want to fork out money… because he would already be providing his name. That, in itself, would already be a great help.
However, Boss Pei had turned them down in the end. Thus, they had had no choice but to start a restaurant on their own.
Could they copy the nameless restaurant’s model entirely? Unfortunately, they could not.
That was because they would have risked being dissed for being a fake if they had done so. Something like that would have been fatal for a high-end restaurant.
The moment the restaurant’s reputation suffered and people started to diss it, rich people would decline to validate the brand. Then, the high-end restaurant would fail altogether.
Li Shi and Wang Peng were not stupid. They would not have done something like that.
Thus, they went down the path of ordinary high-end restaurants.
They set it up in a convenient place with high traffic. They also found a bigger place so that people did not have to make reservations each time they wanted to eat there, like what they had to do at the nameless restaurant.
Of course, that meant they could not change the private rooms’ decor for each customer. They also had to compromise on the environment in some ways.
The good thing was that the place was big. Most ingredients were also in stock.
It was not as high-end as Ming Yun Private Kitchen, but prices of the dishes had also been adjusted downward. If people failed to make reservations at Ming Yun Private Kitchen, they could come here instead. It was still a bit more high-class than Swan Lake Restaurant.
Soon, the first dish was served.
On the way, Pei Qian had already aske Li for the menu and arranged for Assistant Xin to select the dishes.
That way, they could save time and start eating once they arrived. Pei Qian did not want to hold his employees back after all. He was not that particular about the dishes. He only wanted to have more luxurious delicacies.
They were normally more expensive.
Pei Qian did not care much about what exactly they ate. After all, no matter how good the food was, he had probably already tried it before at Ming Yun Private Kitchen. This time, he was primarily here to spend more money.
“Come, everyone. Eat as quickly as you can so that you can go home and rest once you’re done.”
Pei Qian was the first to pick up his chopsticks and start eating. That dispelled the need for any unnecessary talking or programs. Li Shi smiled as he approached Pei Qian’s table. “How is it, Boss Pei? How’s the taste?”
Pei Qian nodded and spoke unclearly, “It’s alright!”
Pei Qian was not a good liar. The food was a far cry from Ming Yun Private Kitchen, but it was still slightly better than Swan Lake Restaurant.
Still, Swan Lake Restaurant had an advantage. It was a buffet with a lot of seafood on offer. That meant it was more economical than this restaurant.
However, this was a disadvantage to Pei Qian.
Li Shi knew very well how the food tasted. The fact that Boss Pei found the food ‘alright’-despite being able to eat at the nameless restaurant whenever he wantedshowed that he had sufficient respect for Li Shi.
Tang Yishu was seated with a group of staff from the administrative department. She carefully took food for herself bit by bit and ate in small bites.
Li Shi went to the kitchen, intending to encourage the chefs working there. However, before he arrived, he heard the sound of something breaking.
“Aiyo! I fell! The floor’s too slippery!
“Quick, sweep up the pieces!”
Li Shi frowned. As he entered the kitchen, he saw broken plates scattered around the floor. Two employees were trying to clean up the mess as quickly as they could.
Li Shi became light-headed. “What’s going on?”
A waiter quickly bowed and apologized. “I’m sorry, Boss Li! The floor was too slippery, and I lost my footing so I broke a few dirty dishes that I just kept…”
Li Shi was speechless. Looking around, he spotted a puddle of water on the kitchen floor. He had no idea when it appeared, but it would indeed cause the ground to be slippery.
“It’s alright, just clean up the mess. On the bright side, we’ve found a safety hazard.
“Buy some anti-slip spray and mats tomorrow morning.”
Once Li Shi finished speaking, he heard a whoosh from the frying pan next to him. Obviously, this was not the skills of a high-class chef. It was a mistake.
“Quick, quick, quick! A fire extinguisher!”
Someone at the side quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. However, all the food in the wok had burned. They had no choice but to throw the food away and cook the dish anew.
Li Shi’s expression darkened. “The fire extinguisher is too far from the stove. That’s a safety hazard, too.”
Although they had just found many safety hazards, this was still a headache for Li Shi!
Feeling helpless, he mumbled to himself, “Could it be that we opened the restaurant on an inauspicious date?
“These things hardly happen in other restaurants…
“Calm down, calm down. Perhaps that’s just a coincidence.”
That night, past 10 PM…
After sending off the last group of customers, Ming House’s branch manager led the waiters to clean up the entire restaurant.
Li Shi found a random seat to rest in, feeling extremely exhausted. It was the second day of the restaurant’s operations—the most important period.
However, many problems had occurred!
There had been no major threats to safety. A few plates had broken, and some dishes had been burned. However, those resulted in a great delay in serving dishes. Many customers thought that they had waited too long for their food to be served, and they felt unsatisfied as a result. The branch manager had to personally attend to them and offer them discounts, in order to salvage the situation.
However, it remained to be seen the kind of reviews that those people would leave the restaurant with
Things had not been so bad when Boss Pei and his employees were here. That was because they had eaten quite early. What’s more, they had pre-ordered their food. Thus, by the time Boss Pei and his employees had arrived, the food had been ready to be served. Subsequently, the dishes had taken longer, but nobody had realized.
By night, the situation had been laid bare for their customers to see.
Li Shi was frustrated. Was it that difficult to run a restaurant?
My restaurant’s safety standards are already higher than most other restaurants. How could such things have happened?
However, he could not shift the blame to others. That was because there was always a chance that mishaps would occur as long as there were safety hazards.
Take a puddle of water that someone had accidentally spilled, for example. Sometimes, people could walk past it without slipping. However, other times, someone could slip and fall, thus dropping the dish that had been ready to be served.
Li Shi could only say that they had not been safe enough! He felt melancholic. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that Boss Pei’s Ming Yun Private Kitchen was not that simple.
They were particular about the environment, they served dishes very quickly, and their service was flawless.
Running a high-end restaurant was not as easy as he had thought!
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