Big Red F Sort-Of-Annual Boulder Rez Party
September 5, 2017 was a much anticipated day for the employees of the twelve Big Red F restaurants— the day of the annual Rez Party. It was to be a day of intense inter-company competition, live music, delicious, local food, and an endless flow of Post beer—what could be better? At high noon, men and women, clad in mermaid tails, chicken heads, and even a few strong men costumes, piled into buses and made their way from their home restaurants (from as far away as Jax Fish House in Kansas City) and began their journey to the most beautiful beach on the Front Range, the Boulder Reservoir, where the festivities would ensue.
But where did it all begin, you ask? The Rez Party has been a company tradition since 1995, the year after owner Dave Query first opened Zolo Southwestern Grill and Jax Fish House in downtown Boulder. Over the past 20 years, as the company has gone from two to now twelve (almost thirteen, come Oct. 31, 2017) restaurants, the party has growth with it. Along the way, we have seen incredibly creative costumes, from Bay Watch and a BP Oil Spill clean up crew, to Poseidon and his royal procession (boat and all).
In 2010, Query implemented the Big Red F Olympics, a chance to foster team bonding, camaraderie, and add a little healthy competition among the restaurants. As tradition would have it, the olympics began with a spirit competition and on-land-server-skill-testing relay race (think trays piled high with glasses meets high knees through rows of tires), followed by a dodgeball tournament and paddleboard relay on the reservoir. The competition was fierce, but only one restaurant could be crowned the winner. After much deliberation amongst the judges, it was proclaimed that the employees from Jax Fish House right here in Boulder would be taking home the coveted trophy.
The day concluded with the annual salmon toss, a DQ original. The crowd laughed until they cried as they watched their friends and coworkers walk up to the plate and do their best to chuck a 15 pound salmon as far as they could across a sand volleyball court (believe me, it’s harder than it sounds). The prize for the longest toss? A trip for two to Mexico. Kooper Clein of Post Rosedale came out on top with an impressive toss of 15ish yards (give or take), and will taking his championship toss all the way to Mexico sometime within the next year!
As the festivities came to a close, the 500-or-so party-goers boarded their buses and headed home with bellies full and hearts content, ready for a long sleep after an exciting day on the water with their coworkers. The next day, as the restaurants opened for business, one could not help but note the smiles on the faces of BRF employees from Denver to Kansas City. “Why all the smiles,” You ask? “The party is over!” Well, when you work for the Big Red F, you’re part of a family of people who truly care about each other, and that is something to smile about.