Having a restaurant gives you an interesting lens into, what I might call, trends. Ugh I hate that word. But here is a list of groundswells we spy-with-our-little-eyes before they go/have gone mainstream:

1) Covid cancellations. A few of these in a given week and we know something bad is going on. A few weeks later a fresh spate is reported in the news.

2) People who want to work on their terms and are completely inflexible (who blames them?). This is a cross section of post-covid society. People are suddenly working to live. They value flexibility, being able to walk away at ant time, and spending time doing other things they live and love. And we’re supposed to be in a cost-of-living crisis.

3) Being approached by 30 something to middle-aged people who want a complete change. Mostly burn-outs from the top 10 global employers (we hear some horror stories). People who, like me I guess, lived behind their laptops, Zoom calls and f2f meetings. And suddenly want out! We’re the way out. We love being that conduit. And we’re not the only way out/conduit.

4) Teetotalers, sort of. It’s OK though because we are not one of those restaurants who depend on wine sales to make a profit. But wine sales have been in steep decline. However, cocktail sales, we have a choice of 6 mock/cocktails, are accelerating.

5) Meat eaters being persuaded by vegetarian family members to fine-dine on vegetarian food. And becoming regulars. These are an interesting group to watch. From anxiously listening to me reading out and explaining the menu to polishing their plates clean. In other words, vegetarian food not so much as a lifestyle choice, but more of another kind of cuisine.

6) Flavour and taste trumping/replacing authenticity as 2nd and 3rd generation migrants root themselves in their host countries. Because, for example, there is no authenticity in Iranian or Indian (Israeli and Palestinian) home cooking. Every family has their own way of cooking the same dishes. And all we are doing is showing people how we like to do it.

I appreciate the above may not be news to some of you. But for us these are things we sensed long before we read about them.

I wonder what groundswells a cabbie, an ER nurse, a police officer and a checkout person might spy.