Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Visitors and critics


I was supposed to finish this blog about review and reviewers weeks ago! Time flies- big time. Everyday brings a little more distraction and I end up writing this blog 10 minutes before the service starts!

I was going to tell you how much reviews in newspaper and magazine influence me.

I was going to tell you that I read and and read reviews from my favorite food critics while putting the restaurant together...

I was going to tell you how I felt when a review is brilliant and when a review destroys me!

Well actually it is quite easy to imagine : happy or very sad.


One thing that I realised is that every review has a point- so it was vital for me to weight Le pour et Le contre of each review.

One week end during the month of July we had 2 reviews in 2 Sunday magazines; eaten the same day, in the same room by 2 different reviewers:

one loved it and can't wait to comeback- the other one finds the all experience useless.

If you read left- Great review

if you read right- Crap review

So that is the point of review- a matter of taste and politic- just like our customers.


What is important now is to keep our guests happy by providing superb food, superb service..etc

and most important making sure that our pricing is right.

During my last trip to France, I was almost tempted to try a very up and coming restaurant near Nice.

1 Michelin star, young chef, exciting cuisine...

Sadly when I saw the price of the A la Carte, I knew that I will end up banqueroute if I ever order anything from his menu. The price was horrendous-

35 euros for a starter & nothing below 65 euros for a main course!!!

I felt very sorry for the chef as I am sure even at this price he doesn't cover his costs.

Running a restaurant relies too much on having hands serving plates, hands preparing the food, hands washing dishes..etc But those hands are attached to French voters body who believe in being looked after by THE STATE.

The NI contribution is enormous: 1euro goes to NI for every 1euro you give to your staff.Working hours are at 35hours a week (even in the catering industry)- every extra hours after 41 hours a week costs you another 50% extra(with a maximum of 45 hours per week); I know that every month you have to pay for a new tax: keeping the 50's + in employment- sending your staff to the STATE doctor for nothing other than 80 euros per employee- apprenticeship tax- CSG... plus all the bank holidays and the strike days.

Mission impossible to succeed.


Happy to be in London? Oh yes..........................but I have a restaurant in France too.

Merde alors.




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