Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Reader diary

19 March 2003 by
Reader diary

And here it all ends - my last Reader Diary. It has been fun, often time-consuming, but definitely worthwhile.

Being able to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper has made me see things more clearly. This column was always a favourite read of mine, even before I started to write my diary.

I was intrigued to know about others' lives in the catering trade and how mine compares, and, to be honest, I think I'm doing something wrong.

I work, on average, a 60-hour week. I finish work, come home, clean and tidy, iron and cook, and look after my children and my husband. I'm always bogged down with paperwork and a take-away pizza is the height of luxury.

I don't get to go for long walks in the hills with my family. And I don't get to have "business lunches with associates". I'm usually lucky to grab a quick cup of coffee and a mouthful of free samples with a rep while working.

We're always short-staffed and stretching to make ends meet. I'd be rich if it weren't for the Government. I get really angry with the way the Government treats small businesses, but I don't know enough to retaliate - and, if I did, who'd give a damn?

Staff can be a pain in the arse at times; so can I, but I wouldn't swap them for the world. I have great respect for my staff and value their input.

I wish the customers could be more polite and keep their children under control. We're a restaurant, not a bloody crèche, and why can't they tidy up their mess? I would.

Truthfully, I've had enough. So I'm buggering off to Oasis in the Lake District for four days with my family, to relax and rejuvenate. I can't go far; I have to be a phone call away in case anything happens. And I couldn't go abroad - the pressure would kill me.

I work hard at what I do so I can stay good at what I do. The restaurant has gained a good reputation, as it had in the early days. I have seen how easy it is to lose that, and I'm damned sure it's not going to happen again.

Just enough time to thank the staff - to Michelle and Sharon, for all your hard work; and Mrs G, you know I'll never let you retire; Sophie, one day you'll make a great doctor; and Matthew, are you sure you want to be a maths teacher? Dan, don't do anything stupid in the Army; and Gary, just a little bit faster and you're there.

And Shaun, you know that'll make you go blind?

Helen Cutts is chef-proprietor of the Greenhouse restaurant in Warkworth, Northumberland

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking