Sunday, June 21, 2020

Covid and restaurants

Why do we do things in hospitality driven by knee jerk reactions and short term thinking?
My wife and I own and run a small restaurant which has been forced into just 8 diners per sitting because of very appropriate Covid restrictions.  In order to survive from day 1 after the reopening we ran two sittings which we are fortunate enough to have oversubscribed.
We do not force people to book online with a credit card and draconian penalties and we don’t stupidly surcharge a bill for using that credit card.  Both of these very very short sighted actions assume people are basically dishonest and financially stupid.  We do not have no-shows and welcome our guests as friends – some for over 17 years.  Friends who are indeed financially astute and honest and who enjoy and indeed respect the trust placed in them. 
Further, there is a trend to try and make people spend more money through the use of set multi course menus and/or minimum spends.  Once again a negative short term cash flow ‘solution’.  Except, it’s not a solution as people rightly don’t like having choice removed.  We have clients who don’t spend much [non drinkers usually] and lots who do.  The balance is appropriate at around $120 per head.  The key is that it’s a ‘balance’ and people spend because we spend a lot of time developing a product which people want to buy, not forcing something they don’t want.
Wonder why there are so many restaurant failures?  One reason, among many, is that restaurateurs show no respect for their clients devolving their offering to their own perceived bottom end financially stupid and disrespectful thinking.  When we opened some 17 years ago Telstra failed to connect our EFTPOS et alia so we had no method of taking credit card payments.  At the time we said to all clients, ‘don’t worry, just pay us next time you pass’.  Every bill was paid within the week.  I have a very healthy respect, for respect and no, it’s not earned, it’s a God given right.
This whole Covid thing is a real bugger on so many fronts causing real financial and emotional stress.  Restrictions placed to protect us against disaster are appropriate but then we see 10,000 people allowed to protest ‘cheek and jowl’ by our government.  Mixed messages from the idiots in power obviously with a brain-thinking disconnect.
We as a nation are going to ‘bolt’ out of this forced conundrum because as that nation we DO have respect for all peoples, we are not idiots and we live in the best country on earth with freedoms of everything. 
People choose based on how they are treated.
We choose Australia and people choose our little restaurant because we respect them without demanding and without hidden charges.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


Once upon a time there was a man who the world watched with envy as he transformed his patch from just plain broke to one marching towards success.  He was a great leader and people admired him for the dedication he showed to making every post a winner.  Other leaders aspired to garner some of his charisma as they said nice things and longed for photo opps. His record on respect for all was just shoved under the carpet because the world could see what he was doing and how he needed to do it.   Then he invaded Poland.

Fast forward 80 or 90 years and we have another leader, a great leader, a leader immersed in cementing his patch as indefatigably supreme. Just like the previous leader, respect for all was low on the list of priorities as he spread his patch’s control by land grab and economic stealth whilst making others dependant on his endless treasure chest.  The world watched exponential growth, strength and fortitude whilst others sought photo opps.  Unlike the last leader this man was quiet, enigmatic and focused with no shouted rallies or look-at-me antics.  One could say inscrutable.  Then he invaded …

How about yet another leader who espouses narcissism and self along with absolute distain for anyone outside of his narrow thinking - the blond spinnaker man with his finger on the red button but without the intelligence to determine just.   A man without letters from a long line of leaders without letters leading a country already shamed with indeginous genocide and sovereign invasion.

This dysfunction happens because we let it.  Indeed, even on a local level, we have a so called leader who is irresponsible and weak as well as being on a power trip with no one to stop him.  He confuses strength with stupidity, maintenance with strategic growth and public safety with an inability to appear strong. Mouth noise replaces lucidity.  Allowing 10,000 people to protest shoulder to shoulder whilst banning groups of more than 10 people in say restaurants under strict social distancing rules during a pandemic is insane. Pity.  
 What does it take for us to recognise a pattern?

The sad thing is that all the above mentioned men are self promoted leaders seemingly doing wonderful things for their own patches albeit at the expense of anyone who stood in their way.  But, in the end, at the expense of their own patch.  They all self promoted greatness but reality disagreed.

History is full of these people and at all levels of government yet we continually turn a blind eye hoping it will get better.  America is currently imploding where respect has left the building and plague terrorises.  The shallowness of past glories laid bare to reality.  Indeed, a new reality in which ‘others’ seek a foothold through quiet, focused and specific incretion.

So, who are the good guys?  Is it Mr Enigmatic, the blond flyover, the lost premier or perhaps our man from Hill song or is it perhaps just everyone and anyone who actually gives a toss?

The media get away with rabidly stupid comments, statistics and data which a 10 year old could see though - yet people believe.  They want to believe because even someone as dysfunctional as those mentioned above are better than wimp after dodgy after hopeless.

What a day for the human race. Not.