Free food is great, isn’t it?
This isn’t another jaundiced glare at the ‘Ooooh I love your food, can I have £200-worth free for me and my seven best mates please, and we’ll absolutely guarantee some lovely Insta stories?’ subculture of blogging.
Like it or not, that is the ecosystem we live in: but perhaps there is a way to manufacture some wider benefits from free meals.
Perhaps. The ‘P’ word is a constant in any 2019 discussion and you’d have some neck to deny being offered free food and booze is a gilded existence- but could we be using that undoubted privilege more helpfully?
Neither of these ideas is mine. They come from sharper minds than the one I’m lumbered with. But I’m putting them out there anyway. They are practical changes which might make some difference to someone who needs it more than you and I do. I’m not going to be becoming wraithlike any time soon, however many times I stop short of another helping.
I’m hoping it’s something some of you might agree there’s some potential in.
Restaurants: on launch nights and invitations, where there’s food aplenty- why not do something for the greater good by inviting donations, in lieu of a bill- to a local charity?
Bar 44 did this when they opened in Westgate St, when every table groaning with free tapas also holding envelopes for (Cardiff specialist cancer treatment centre) Velindre.
It was a brilliant and typically classy idea then: it hasn’t caught on as it should. In part, that’s my fault: I mentioned it at the time, but I should have kept on keeping on.
From your perspective, the point of the evening is to create a good impression among opinion-formers and influencers, to create momentum for the business: for your social media channels to become positively engorged with positive impressions. And why not? It’s an exchange which is now expected by many and demanded by some.
But how about combing that with doing some good in the community?
Why not make this standard practice?
Bloggers: when you’re nearing the point when you’ve eaten too much- and I’m way ahead of you in that queue, I’m sure- why don’t we ask restaurants to parcel up anything leftover or unneeded… and put that to some use? Some have done it already, I know: I’m suggesting we do it often, and generously.
I’m not the only person who must have tasted the irony of being fed and watered for nothing… and then walking past the tents, sleeping bags and cardboard many have to resort to for their night’s sleep, on our way back to the car and the bed.
So why don’t we feed others who need it more than we do? It’s all going free- they need it far more than we do. Let’s hold out a helping hand. If that’s not feasible, why not encourage restaurants to donate food at the end of the event to a homeless outreach service?
These aren’t- as I’m sure you can tell- cleverly reasoned arguments full of seductive nuance. It’s a call to action, borne out of passionate conversations with others who for too long have been feeling the tension between having free stuff thrown at us, and seeing those whose need outstrips ours in every way.
Over to you…
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This blog is a very simple thing.
I won’t try to sell you any hand lotion, exercise programmes, coffee syrups or Patagonian nose flutes. You won’t find tips on dating, ‘wellness’ or yoga mats.
I write because I love it (and food, as indicated by my increasing girth). Greed happens to be my Deadly Sin of choice, but at least it is never shy of providing me with subject matter.
A simple thing, then: all you get is me wittering on semi-coherently about places I’ve eaten at; hence a ‘restaurant blog’ rather than a ‘food blog’, although there are a few recipes scattered throughout.
From mezze to Michelin ‘fine dining’ and all points in between.