"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" has been this month's motto. So, along with the rest of the planet, we've gone World Cup mad.
We've spent the past two to three months preparing for it, with large-screen TV, adverts, leaflets, mail-shots, press releases and special menus, to name but a few of our efforts. But what a heave-ho to get it all done for the first big day.
Mail-shots were to go out to our main customers: frequent diners and the Kids' Club. With both, we decided to kill two birds with one stone - designing our second Kids' Club magazine around the football theme, inviting the kids to join their parents in front of the big screen, have their faces painted with the flag of the country they supported, get a bite to eat and, if they got fed up, be occupied by our in-house clowns or have a play in the garden (swings included). Our frequent diners were due their next statement of points, so we produced a one-page newsletter incorporating their statement and ideas for parties based on the football theme.
Artwork and printing done, Susie, our super-duper in-house database co-ordinator (nice title), pushed the "go" button on the computer. It whirled, and the printer gave up. Sod's law! In came a new printer and the mail-shot went out two days late.
The next excitement was when a journal picked up on our press release and wanted to take pictures. Great! Could they come the next day? Claude and I were due to leave on a long weekend the following evening but I was going to be in the office all day and one photo wouldn't take long. Wrong - they wanted a front-page picture plus several other shots. Four hours later and no work done, I was sitting at my desk with my face fully painted with the English flag. Sod's law!
The large screen arrived, as promised, at 10.30am on Wednesday 10 June, the morning before the opening match. The hire company technician ummed and aahed when we explained that the aerial was interlinked with our television and stereo system. Two hours and kilometres of cable later, the screen worked and the poor chap left soaked to the skin after having to run up a new aerial. Sod's law!
The new 160cm x 75cm transparency for the outside sign arrived one day late (my fault, actually). It was beautifully fitted and left no doubt that Spaggo's was the place to go for football. For some reason the transparency got soaked and ran - another £100 literally down the drain. Sod's law!
On a positive note, we've all contracted World Cup fever. The bar has been humming during the matches; every afternoon kids have been tearing around with their faces painted; and we are already taking group bookings for the next England match. Only time will tell if we were right to join in, and if our sweat, blood and tears will pay off.
Next diary from Tammy Mariaux will be on 30 July