I’m sorry that I’ve been a bit AWOL lately, I have been away on holidays in Brisbane for an awards night and a wedding and have had a wonderful time (now I must come back to reality I suppose).
While I was away, I ate out ALOT (so much so that my partner and I put on 3kgs). One thing I couldn’t get over is how every time I go back to Brisbane, there is the explosion of new beautiful bars and restaurants which was dubbed the new hip place to be, so much so that I find it hard sometimes to keep up!
You know the ones.. they don’t take reservations because they are so popular and busy (they are the new and exciting thing of course) or if they do, they are booked out for months in advice (sometimes even before the restaurants grand opening) and if you don’t have a reservation then you go to the bar section of the restaurant and desperately hope that there is a last minute cancellation or you’ve buttered up the maître d’ that they take pity on your and your friends and try to squeeze you in for an hour before one of the clients who have actually reserved a table turns up.
There was one of these nights in particular that stood out to me, I had parked my car in a café area near the city that used to be impossible to find a available space because it was so busy and headed to one of these above mentioned new and hip restaurants for a catch up with one of my very close friends.
As I was walking through the café complex, I noticed that it wasn’t as busy as it usually had been, a Japanese place in particular was very quiet with a few staff sitting around folding napkins to pass the time. Now this Japanese restaurant used to be one of the hip new places that didn’t take reservations because they were so popular and as a I walked around the side of the building I noticed that a section of the restaurant which usually sat approximately 50 people, now had its lights off and housed a large amount of equipment that hadn’t been used in a while. This made me a little bit sad as I had fond memories of this place when I lived in Brisbane so the sight of this restaurant being so quiet stirred up a feeling of being left out and forgotten inside of me and it made me wonder.
Would the new hip places that I have been to on this trip come to the same fate?
Has it now become about experiencing the newest thing rather than the food and service or are the new places just doing it better than the previous?
Is there so many restaurants opening in a week that its hard just keep up with them, let alone going back to a restaurant that you’ve been too before (even if you’ve enjoyed yourself)?
Has food now become like a fashion season were you’re only popular for a short amount of time before your clients are off to the next new thing that’s just opened, resulting in shorter and shorter life spans for the restaurants?
As a new restaurant, how do you retain a healthy customer basis after the hype is over and they are no longer the “new kid on the block” if your clients are the foodies chasing the next best thing?
With all these thoughts swirling in my mind, it started to scare me that someone like me who loves to go out and enjoys food so much might be contributing to this cycle where restaurants won’t be around for a long time anymore and family restaurants that have been around for generations, being handed down through the family will become so rare as we scramble to the newest place to be seen.
Is it just going with the times that nothing lasts forever anymore?
Our cloths, cars, electronic equipment no longer last more than a season or a couple of years and are designed to be replaced. Will this become the fate of the restaurant industry as well?
Only time will tell but its interesting to ponder!