Published 19 April 2022
by Adam Hyman
Twitter is a funny old place. I imagine it’ll get even stranger if Elon Musk gets his way.
At lunch in sunny Tuscany over the Easter weekend, we were talking to our waiter whose father owned the restaurant we were dining in. I asked him if he planned to stay for the long haul and maybe take over one day – sadly not. He said he’d like to do something a little less taxing and a bit more rewarding.
When I got back home, I read a Twitter conversation that sums up not only some people’s attitude to success, but also how our industry is still – frustratingly – perceived. A tweet by Thom Hetherington, the clever chap behind the Northern Restaurant & Bar events, commented on restaurant prices:
“Witnessing some OUTRAGE at restaurant prices, but it’s simple: Good restaurants pay their staff and suppliers properly, and pay tax, and then make a small margin, so the dishes cost what they cost. Either go, enjoy, and pay, or don’t. No drama. No one is forcing or profiteering.”
Someone decided to weigh in. Naturally. They wrote that if margins are so small, why is Tom Kerridge driving such a nice car?
I have no idea what car Tom Kerridge drives but I do hope it’s something fast and comfortable. The chef owns a group of successful restaurants and does a lot of TV work. Why the hell shouldn’t he drive a nice car, if that’s what he wants to do?
Success is measured in different ways – it’s subjective. If our industry is to combat its historic perception as underpaid and overworking, should we not be championing the fact that you can run a profitable business, have a rewarding career and perhaps treat yourself in the process?