Coronavirus Diaries: Jamie Castaneda, general manager, 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant

Published: 4 May 2020 - 5:45 a.m.
By: Hotelier Middle East Staff
6:30 AM: I wake up at 6.30 am in order to hit the indoor-trainer for 45 minutes. Right after that I move out to the terrace to stretch and do some core exercise and/or meditation. After my 60 minutes’ workout, shower time.

8:30AM: By this time, I am already watching the news, having breakfast and replying to emails. This is definitely one of the advantages of working from home at the moment. Breakfast tastes better and emails from the sofa are easier to reply than from office.

11AM: Second coffee of the day and with this I am calling my chef and my restaurant manager to go through day to day operations, challenges and checking inventory.

Bearing in mind, at this present time, the restaurant is closed and only deliveries are operating right now, the revenue has decreased to 65%.

We are remaining positive and are grateful that we stocked up heavily before the lockdown, enabling us to reduce high F&B purchases throughout the pandemic. All this requires daily monitoring to maintain a low but efficient par stock.

12PM: As a Board Member of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, I am conducting several actions to assist our members and the rest of various Spanish Companies in UAE.

Two of the projects that we are developing is creating sanitary baskets for our members with essentials as well as tools and food hampers for all the compatriots that have lost their jobs. I dedicate one hour each day to the Executive Committee of COVID19 tasks.

1:30PM: Lunch time, is a joyful time as I love cooking, this is another advantage of the lockdown and working from home. I am never at home and I really enjoy preparing the food without hesitation.

2:30PM: Siesta time!

3PM: Third coffee of the day and it is time to think about 99 Sushi Dubai. Currently, as a business we are going through the investment plan, capex (capital expenditure) status, checking on remaining funds, going through charts with the project managers and monitoring operating expense orders.

The estimated opening of 99 Sushi Dubai, is within the first week of July, and there is always something to do to ensure we are on track, and on schedule.

4PM: I am still working away on future plans with 99 Sushi Dubai.

5PM: I switch back to 99 Sushi Bar, Abu Dhabi, by checking on our Iftar deliveries and ensuring all orders are sent.

This is also the time I utilize to do trade, as the US stock market is about to start, this is something that I can easily spend hours analyzing. It is my geek time.

7PM: Time for a jog and to get outdoors to breath some air.

This is the best part of the day where I can clear my mind, put on some good music and just run, I always love the walk home, as it is overlooking the sea and is the best part. At the end of the day

I use this time to meditate, to put all of my thoughts together and prepare for the next day.

9:30PM: Cooking + movie = Dinner time

11PM: Time to unwind for bed, check up on any late news, look at trading status and sleep.

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