A couple of weeks ago, I posted “What’s on the Menu” about the Mal Brough dinner. Someone who works in the hospitality industry raised a number of concerns with me about what people were saying. This person – who I’ll call “Barry” – expressed the view that it was very likely that the people working on the night would have been agency staff, so the idea that they’d be afraid of losing their job didn’t strike him as plausible. Most restuarants, he said, just had a skeleton staff, and used agencies when they had a function such as the one where the infamous menu appeared. (Or didn’t appear!)
“Barry” said that working in hospitality was a hard gig, so people often joked around, so the idea of a fake menu didn’t strike him as implausible. As for the idea that it would be put on the table, well, they have “very severe sexism laws”. Something like that just wouldn’t be tolerated. In the hospitality industry, men and women all get equal respect.
He also had problems with the chef who was sacked. Chefs just don’t get sacked in this industry – very rarely anyway. He only knew of two in his twenty years working in the industry.
Of course, many people have argued that the menu looked professionally printed. “Barry” pointe out that many places now printed their own menus from templates. Knocking up a “joke” menu would be no trouble at all. And I must agree. It’s quite easy to print a professional looking document these days.
It does seem a little implausible that a reputable restuarant would put something so crass on the tables.
All this seems quite reasonable. Still, it does seem strange that Mal Brough knew that the menu was written by “non-party member”. It does suggest that he knew who wrote it, which suggests that he’d seen it before the email from the restaurant owner apologising. So whether the menu appeared on the table or not, Mr Brough seems have been acquainted with it.