In a line that could have tripped off the tongue of Basil Fawlty, the table behind me was presented with an interesting dilemma: would they be ok with a burnt pizza, or did they want to wait for a fresh one to be made?
The latter option would take a while, though, warned their young server, and the diners wearily plumped for burnt. Amid the chaos of this al fresco cafe, overseen by a trio of apologetic teens, a plate of charred dough for just shy of £14 was deemed preferable to more delays or no food at all.
As a snapshot of post-Brexit UK hospitality, it was a telling indictment of both industry standards and customer expectations. If it’s not already clear from the growing number of hastily chalked ‘Staff Wanted’ signs in pub, restaurant and hotel carparks, the exodus of European hospitality staff has left a substantial void in the sector, and it’s translating into some pretty crushing customer experiences.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies