Funny old game this. Last night, Saturday, we were empty. Not one single diner. Chef, me and one other, candles lit, gas and lights burning, logs on the fire and the central heating boiler fighting to repel the cold wind attempting to break in.
Today, Sunday, we were almost full with a combination of booked tables and ‘walk-ins’. Having plenty of staff, I was able to really do my principal job which is to conduct proceedings and talk to clients.
Otherwise known as schmoozing, I am sure that this job is as important as any other that goes into the running of a restaurant. In part this is so that the client establishes a direct link with the establishment. Equally, if not more important is for me to understand what our diners want. Today we seem to have delivered well. We had a range of people from around England and abroad. Some came with high expectations which we exceeded, others’ expectations were unclear but the compliments were very encouraging for me and the team.
For some we equal or exceed anything that London’s best has to offer, for others we are doing something totally different. A common view is that if one were to stumble upon us while on holiday in Italy, Spain or France, we would be the highlight of that particular visit.
What I am trying to achieve is a simple dream choice of high quality, honest, great tasting food in a comfortable welcoming environment. Today it became clear that I am succeeding, but if we have many more empty Saturday nights, the dream may end.