Fred has always been a legend in my eyes; his restaurant is legendary too in our area.
We’ve been eating there for more than 30 years on and off. And last night’s visit was a bit special for us, because we took our two daughters along with us for the first time to celebrate my birthday. I know, I know, I’m also not sure why they’ve never been with us before to this amazing restaurant; they’ve been almost everywhere else we’ve ever frequented.
The same staff have served us all these years; Fred is obviously a very nice guy to work for. Decor is attractive; food is excellent. Well, usually. But not last night. Out of the four meals we ordered, three were deemed to be less than great. What a disappointment. Gutted. Girls are now wondering why we kept harping on about Fred’s for all those years.
Well, we’ll not be harping on about it any more. We do eat out quite often; we like good food. It occurs to me this morning, however, that maybe our midlife expectations are set a little too high, bearing in mind that we are in the middle of a recession. Perhaps restaurants are having to cut corners a little or a lot just to survive.
On the other hand though, surely a recession is precisely the time to go the extra mile, and satisfy customers’ expectations. And more besides. I’m sure we are no different from most other families in that we expect value for our hard-earned money, and only the best will do. It’s not as if a birthday meal can be repeated the following night, now can it?
Did you voice your opinion, I hear you ask. No, we did not. Normally we would have, but Fred himself was absent. He’s gone overseas to visit family. We will, however, make an effort to chat to him once he’s back from his travels. And will we give Fred the opportunity of having another bite of our eating out budget? Probably, but not for a while. Will I lower my midlife expectations? I don’t think so. Unfortunately for Fred, we live in a world where nothing is indispensable – and there are plenty more restaurants where Fred’s came from.