Looks nice sitting there doesn't it? A soup plate, supplied by Continental China in South Africa, an example of their "Kalahari" range. In 2005 we re-stocked the Lodge completely with new crockery and cutlery at vast expense. Up to now, our losses through breakage and pilferage have been quite limited and some time ago a guest even brought back a teaspoon, an unheard of event! But now we have a bit of a problem. We have "Plategate!"
When I take stock in the kitchen, the figures are all entered on to the laptop as we go along, and not being able to be in two places at once, I take the word of the girl who's calling out the stock figure that she's calling the correct figure. On Wednesday last week we hosted a dinner at which we needed 23 soup plates like the one in the picture, and we didn't have 23 did we? We only had 19! The following morning the hot plate was emptied and there were more differences. "Plategate!" Who knew anything? Nobody knew anything, obviously!
I can't say how the crockery went missing, or when, or who was responsible. Is it about the crockery or is it about the cover up? In the end, it's my own fault, for not taking stock properly, and believing the unbelievable - that we weren't losing anything! What will we do?
Three things probably. Not top up the service charge for all the staff at the month end, which I always do in feeble months like February. Divide the cost of the missing crockery by 4, the number of girls working in the kitchen, and deduct it from their salaries over the next two months. And blooming well take stock properly in the future with JL physically checking the quantities!
Tension at the Lodge? You bet there is! There's a staff meeting on Thursday, pay day, to consider the ramifications of "Plategate!" As an aside, we've had nothing but praise about, and tips for, the staff from Guests this week lauding their attitude and helpfulness, so I guess even "Plategate" has an upside!