The Knackered Chef

Firstly I’d like to apologise for not writing my usual article last week, I reviewed a local venue on the understanding of giving my typical support for a local business in the hope that a good read would lead to increased interest in a local business, having spoken to the management of the venue I was a little taken aback at the lackadaisical and frankly rude approach I was greeted with. A complete lack of understanding of a customer’s needs and a brashness that can only be described as nonchalant.

I was offered a sample of their food which I did taste so I could obviously write about, it was without doubt some of the worst food I’ve encountered for a long time and I’ve eaten my mother in laws cooking so that says something, later that evening I felt quite unwell and within a short time I was quite sick in all directions.

Yes I’d actually eaten food that allegedly could have been undercooked or perhaps way past it’s sell by date, either way it was not fit for human consumption, I don’t want to name and shame but I have sent the owner of the business a short letter raising my concerns and I’ll leave it at that. This is where I’d like to elaborate, one has to consider we’re in the centre of the universe LONDON, its’ not like a small village if a customer receives a bad experience give it a few weeks and everything is back to normal there is real competition here and people are fighting for every hard earned pound of your money, you only have to look at the success of Brixton and how it has been turned from a rundown town into perhaps one of the best destinations in London in only a few short years.

I’m not saying turn Herne Hill into the next Brixton I’m saying when it comes to business and what we offer to our customers we have to look long and hard at what is around us think why would I go to that venue and what do they have to offer.

Change is always hard for those who don’t know any different it sometimes takes a massive shift or perhaps a critical event to make our mind shift, take a look at our town right now it’s on its knees, shops closed, greedy landlords, Network Rail, The Dulwich Estate and Fullers Brewery. Yes of course it’s upsetting to see our own town like this I for one would drive past and keep driving if I were passing by because quite frankly it looks pretty grim on first impressions, there’s always a second option we accept that change has to happen and we work together, I saw the new Turkish Restaurant staff today sweeping the path outside the restaurant, and this is where a difference is made it’s only a small gesture but it’s one that would get me into that venue in a heartbeat because they have pride, sweeping the floor on which we walk tells me that they care, it’s clean and they have taken the time to attend to every need of the customer, attention to detail.

This is what Herne Hill needs, it needs a business owner who is prepared to fight for what they believe to make their business work and of course you would say that they are a new venture so you would expect that, I’d expect that of every business no matter how old. A willingness to tend to minor details and to be seen in public to be doing so creates confidence, you’re in business either because you want to be rich or you want to rule the world or perhaps you just can’t work for anyone or maybe you love what you do and you want to share your talent with everyone, never the less whatever reason you are in business for you must remember that you are the business and your actions are the sum result of your expectations. If you choose not to sweep the floor don’t complain when you do not yield a fruitful crop.    

Our customers expect and demand more than ever because we gave them the choices, instead of standing off jump in and ask your neighbouring business, what can we do to generate more? Remember that those community groups no matter how tedious they may seem give their time freely because they care about their town and you. A busy station square will turn Herne Hill into a great place if we work together as one that care about the people who support us, from there change will happen.

If you see littler on the floor be the first to start a movement, pick it up you never know someone might care and do the same.

Until next week.

KC