The C Word ……..
….Christmas. While most of civilised society are contemplating a few days off and time spent with loved ones at Christmas, the hospitality industry is clenching its buttocks during the annual bunfight known as December. Contented kitchens will be thrown into chaos by the addition of the obligatory festive menu and 20 cover tables will disrupt service like an arterial blood clot. Office parties and a vast assortment of revellers will be running riot through the dining rooms and bars of even the most respectable establishments, and causing the kind of carnage that is normally associated with the arrival of a class 5 hurricane. And to add insult to injury you can guarantee that 99.9% of Christmas parties don’t tip! This is because the bill is normally settled by a single person or company so they tend to feel that they have spent enough money already and can forgo the traditional gratuity. Well, they may think they’ve just dropped a fortune on dinner but festive menus tend to run at a lower spend per head then say the usual a la carte offering. So from the restaurant’s point of view these drunken goons have just been eating up valuable real estate in the dining room for the last two hours, when these seats could have been filled with lovely normal customers. Customers that don’t feel like they have to hit on their waitresses between every course. Customers that have the ability to place an order and actually remember what dish it was after half an hour. Customers that add ten percent to the bill with out even thinking about it. You know, the Good Guys.
So most people I know in the industry have the second of January firmly in their sights as this represents an end to the madness. It’s also the only thought that stops hospitality staff from taking a sniper rifle to the multi storey and taking pot shots at bearded guys in red suits. It’s a date that signifies a return to reality, when people feel they can ask for a day off and not be regarded as a traitor and life as they know it can return to normal; well as normal as hospitality gets.
However, for the crew at Chefs Direct the second of January is the beginning of our busy season, our ‘glorious twelth’ as it were. Traditionally, this is when chefs look for new opportunities and employers look for new blood, so given we’re in the perfect position to help all parties, we know its going to be pretty hectic. We love it though. Hospitality is in our bones. So when our Christmas party rocks up at your place, we will book early, pre-order (and remember who ordered what when we get there) and tip. Should be easy to spot then…..