I have felt this year that the business feels somehow stronger. Not that we can do many more covers in season, but through enquiries and reservations. It seems to me that we are getting more interest. It is the end of our financial year at the end of October and yes indeed we have seen a small increase in turnover compared to last year but I’m sure the phone is ringing more and that we are refusing more people, even at this time of year. We could really do with someone working weekends even now, well out of season. This could be a 5 year effect, perhaps – or it could be the Tripadvisor Effect, apparently we have a good reputation locally and our TA score is something I am quite proud of even though a lot if people diss it. I expect I would diss it too if our score was rubbish
We’ve even had an increase in kids or their parents phoning or coming in asking if they can do a ‘stage’ with us. That is to say, with me, in the kitchen. Ugh. This is probably quite controversial, but the thought of having a kid training with me in the kitchen leaves me cold. Yes, I know that they have to learn and get practical experience, but they will be learning classic techniques that I have never learnt, damn! I could learn from them! Having a kid hanging over my shoulder watching everything I do would drive me bonkers, best leave it to others who enjoy that sort of thing. It’s also not really the right time of year, I’d be constantly trying to find something for them to do. It’s free labour, as well. We even had a chap come from the Hotellerie school here in Vernet who we know and are friendly with trying to persuade us to take someone. But we held firm. We had a couple in our last place when we still had a chef, we even had a pré-apprentis once (14!!) and it was all a bit awful. And our chef liked kids and had 4 of his own, so he was quite comfortable about it all. However it didn’t end well, as our chef went mad and went off sick for 6 months and the kid went awol as a result, but told his Mum he was still coming to work argh. In short, life was a little more ‘exciting’ for a while.
So that’s that. No snotty kids in the kitchen with me, thanks!