Another 12 months, another review of the year.
Well, what went wrong this year? Let's start with the insignificant personal stuff. Last year we published 27 reviews. Never again, I said. This year we'll get out more and write less. Ah well, we have 35 this year - how did that happen?
On a more fundamental level, what went wrong for the restaurant trade? Just about everything. Let's start with staffing. Horrendous issues. From an insular British viewpoint it's easy to blame Brexit; however various friends who have homes abroad tell me that they face the same issues in many parts of western Europe. a more sensible analysis, I think, is that COVID made so many people reassess their lives. Working unsociable hours for not great money, when much more can be made elsewhere for a variation on a 9 -5: why would you want to? Thus wage inflation is taking its toll in terms of staff recruitment and, obviously, the overall wage bill.
Add to that the horrendous increase in food prices across the board, and the hospitality industry is in the middle of a perfect storm. A Christmas prayer - please let 2023 be better for them.
Despite all the pressures, the standards just seem to get higher every year. A score of 76% won't even get you into the top twenty. Only one real dud, otherwise nothing under 60%. Restaurateurs of the world, I salute you.
|34 Swilcan Loft, St Andrews||15||What a mess the famous Old Course Hotel has made. Turning the Road Hole into a corridor. Creating a rival that is neither one thing nor another. Oh dear. www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk|
|35 Catherine's Cafe, Antigua||11||An astonishing view on a lovely Caribbean island. The rest? S*** in Paradise. www.catherinescafe.com|