“Oh for the good old days in the restaurant industry,” chefs, patissiers, managers and veg chopping battalions alike are surely murmuring wistfully to themselves. Bring back the halcyon days — a mere few months back — when only pest control, customers giving you trouble, blocked fat-traps, seven day work weeks, Eskom-related stock loss, damn sore feet and the odd armed robbery were your problems. Bliss!

At least there were actual paying customers, even if they did ask for the dressing on the side and became gluten intolerant halfway through the meal. There was revelry amid the grind; that lovely word bonhomie hung in the air. Air that had nobody scared. Now, of course, apart from cooks working in a hospital canteen or similar area of need, those who usually cook for money can’t. 

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