Well, the New Year’s Honours have been announced and while there will be many happy recipients the question is always raised as to why this or that one didn’t get an honour. Some have even questioned that there are far too many honours dished out than there were in the past. It seems that these days one just has to be a good sportsman or have had a career in showbiz that it almost guarantees some kind of gong. Many would take issue with this, citing all those people who have contributed to charities and the betterment of their fellow man. And they’d be right, but we don’t seem to hear too much about THOSE recipients. The main media focus is on those with fame and who are in the spotlight.
There are a whole phalanx of waiters and kitchen staff who may be considered more deserving of a New Year Honour than some existing recipients – they also serve, they battle the elements to get to their work-station, they have to contend with all manner of challenges and conflicts in order to deliver whatever goods or services they have chosen to be involved with. They are also unsung heroes to millions of patrons and customers. They’re just not famous. They’re not the public face of the restaurants or the establishment that they represent, but that doesn’t make them any less important or deserving.
And Jon Rutter and his team of stocktakers are in much the same place – they contribute to the success and the smooth running of the establishments that they represent. Yet they are the “backroom boys” unseen and unsung heroes that keep the wheels grinding, the business profitable and the customer informed. When Michelin Star chefs talk about their successes it’s not often they acknowledge the blokes that keep their pans clean, nor those who keep their stock in order and contribute to their profitablility.
So with 2014 looming, stocktakers, servers and backroom folk should take a well earned bow and be recipients of “honorary” awards for services rendered to their industry over the years. They have had to swallow hard and smile when customers have proven to be unreasonable. They’ve had to rearrange the tables to accommodate the large party of eleven when only 5 had booked. They’ve had to explain all the menu items when the customers were too lazy to read what was there in black and white in front of them. They’ve had to contend with the demanding tables, the fussy orders and the demeaning comments and be left exhausted at the end of the ordeal with a tip amount of “zero.”
What would be truly special is that if all those patrons of all the pubs, restaurants, clubs and hostelries across the land would honour those who serve them in 2014 with the respect, goodwill and kindness that Rutters and the team wish others at this time of the year – they may be just as deserving as those receiving Honours from Her Majesty. The “honour” even though it may not be a gong, surely would be appreciated just as much.