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Food has been such a positive influence in my life. I love to eat it (obviously) grow it & cook it. Getting creative in my kitchen & experimenting with new recipes is one of my favourite pastimes. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of big family get togethers when cousins would come from near and far and we would all dig in to a delicious spread of homemade favourites.
Since starting Dine Darling Downs, (a local food / tourism platform) nearly 5 years ago I have spent a great deal of time immersing myself in the food culture of our region. This has included connecting with local farmers and producers and visiting scores of restaurants and cafes in Toowoomba and on the Downs.
During that time I have been in a stack of local kitchens, busy kitchens. From corner café’s run by dedicated Mum and Dad operators to fine dining establishments with a team of highly trained chefs, I have seen the lot and guess what I have learnt? They are all giving their damn best! And a resolute passion for providing good food and quality service is very much alive and well in this region.
It’s hard to make a living in the food industry. Those that succeed often work 70+ hours a week and are regularly unable to attend family events or pursue leisure interests because quite simply when the rest of us are enjoying some down time, they are working. The hospitality industry is rewarding but it’s a tough game.
Food operators are just like the rest of us. They have good and bad days, they have staff that ring in sick on the busiest day of the week, and they have personal issues that crop up and family stuff to deal with, just like we all do.
So when you have a bad experience in a restaurant and trust me you will. Maybe more than one. Please DO explain your problem to the person in charge. Let them know what was wrong with the meal and ask if they can fix it. 99% percent of the time the restaurant owner or manager will be extremely grateful that you spoke up and they will fix the problem immediately.
Please DON’T go on Facebook, Instagram, trip advisor or any other social media platform for that matter and vent your rage or frustration with nasty words and malicious comments. It achieves nothing and remember you could be destroying a family’s livelihood and breaking their hearts too.
This article by Kristen from Dine Darling Downs was originally published in the Toowoomba Chronicle