The working of a traditional restaurant is not complex, though smooth execution is sometimes elusive. It comprises greeting and seating and a waiter who takes the order at the table. Then a docket that goes to the kitchen and drinks area where the desired products are produced. The waiter then takes the products to the tables. Reorders and table clearing follow. Much eating and drinking, with talk, laughter and enjoyment – hopefully.
That system, with slight variations here and there, has been in successful operation for at least 3,500 years.
Fifty years ago, the government moved in and began to regulate – pretty dangerous situation all those people eating, drinking and enjoying themselves unsupervised.
Each new regulation begat more regulation and more departments – Health, Fire, Occupational Health and Safety, grease trap installation, equal opportunity, wage compliance, liquor licence etc., etc. It is only a matter of time before restaurants are forced to hire a quota of people to their staff. Wheelchair waiters – that’ll work.
The expense, hassle and sheer unpleasantness of complying with the myriad regulations is killing the business model. It has now reached the absurd stage where it is literally cheaper, more profitable and safer for me to deliver food to my customers’ homes than it is to deliver it to a table in my restaurant. Hence the rise of Uber Eats and others.
No wheelchair access and wheelchair toilets, no massive ‘Public Risk’ insurance, no Gestapo inspectors who can close the restaurant down for any of tens of thousands of by-laws that no one, except bureaucrats, care about. No absurdly high industry award payments for waiters fresh out of government schools who feel ‘special’ and are full of so much drivel that they are unable to cope with a job in the real world.
Fortunately, it coincides with sufficient ‘social’ media usage that there are enough people happy to dine alone at home while they ‘chat’ to their ‘friends’. Dinner parties with real people are a bit passé.
We have a world of seven billion people and never have they been more anti-social, and lonely. It’s fascinatingly grim to watch the process by which the pseudo-prosperity of pseudo-money creates a pseudo-society.
The debt collapse will sort it all out. It won’t be pleasant.