The Hospitality Briefing: June 2021

Ruth Watson shares her experience on the reopening of Watson and Walpole in Framlingham, Suffolk…

Something I will never understand is why people clamour to be at an opening night, be it a restaurant or theatre, when the likelihood of a flawed performance is almost guaranteed. Along with thousands of other restaurants, Watson and Walpole is jam-packed for the first few weeks after eating out (inside) is allowed. Frankly, it makes me nervous.

In preparation for our long awaited re-opening, we have written checklist after checklist, held numerous Zoom meetings, had part-timers in for a refresher course, re-written menus, changed vintages and added brief descriptions on our wine list, gone through all the IT to make sure it’s working properly, cleaned the restaurant to ICU standards, washed and polished every single glass, piece of cutlery and crockery, checked we are well-stocked with loo paper and sanitiser – and still I know there will be glitches.

Apart from ensuring we have all the necessary stocks and that every thing is working, we also have to make sure every one is functioning, too. Yes, many are raring to go, but over the lockdown months the workforce at large appears to have developed a growing apathy. Getting them up to enthusiastic full-speed is key. Hopefully, interaction with eager customers might be the only catalyst needed.