You may have heard or read about the re-opening of the Fat Dog restaurant in Shrivenham over the last few weeks, with Jim McKenzie (pictured), a name known to many throughout Wiltshire and Swindon having worked in many fantastic restaurants such as the Three Crowns in Brinkworth. Jim finally thought he had fulfilled his life time’s ambition by opening his own restaurant, when disaster struck – his dream became a nightmare!
“Just 48 hours before opening, on our first trial night with friends and family, I became very unwell“ said Jim. Before Jim knew any more he was taken into hospital with a serious heart complaint, leaving his wife Rachel, business partner Neil and a new, young team to open his new restaurant without him!
“I had been feeling unwell for about 3 or 4 months,“ said Jim “but just thought I was over tired from full time work”.
After a hospital stay of over two weeks and many tablets later, Jim would like to thank the staff at the Great Western Hospital for their fantastic care and for getting him back on his feet again! “It has been a worrying time not only for me but all my friends and family, but I now well on the road to recovery and back in control “ said Jim.
You would think that losing their main man, Rachel and Neil had had enough to cope with, but it would seem that the Fat Dog restaurant had still more to throw at them to test their young team some more. ”Our first Sunday lunch was a complete disaster “ said Rachel, “Jim was seriously ill in hospital, we had a full restaurant and with five minutes to go the gas valve in the main kitchen failed, leaving us with no kitchen facilities at all! We let all our customers down that day and I spent the Bank Holiday Monday calling them all to apologise and inviting them to come back ! I did sit down with a rather large glass of wine that day and wonder what I had done", said Rachel. "But there was still more to come".
"Since the restaurant opened, only six weeks ago, we have also had a water leak in the main restaurant, overflowing drains, the credit card machine failing on our busiest Saturday of the year and no broadband internet for 3 weeks!"
Despite all this, Rachel and Neil managed to not only open the Fat Dog without Jim but trade for six weeks at a reasonable level. “We have only been able to achieve this with the help of our dedicated team of full time staff, Mo, Tom, Louise and Adam, who have not only supported me when the going has got tough but supported the business in its infancy. We have had some teething problems“ said Rachel “but hopefully our bad luck is now all over and we can begin to look forward".
“I am now firmly back in control“ said Jim “and although I recognise some customers may have been disappointed, I can assure them that myself and the team are now in a much better position to provide our guests with the premier restaurant, serving freshly prepared, fine food that we promised them! “
To book a table at the Fat Dog Restaurant, then please call 01793 783443.
Win a three course meal for two
The Fat Dog is offering two prizes of a three course meal for two people including cofeee, which can be taken at any time, subject to availabiity.
For your chance to win just let us know where the Fat Dog is located. Mail your entry to: email@example.com by 13 November.