Pretty much since the beginning of time, or at least since the year after we opened in 1999, we have been included in the most reputable guides. Recognised by the critics, applauded by the foodies and we won some fabulous awards along the way too. Boboli also gained recognition as soon as we opened the doors in 2007.
Next week sees the release of the latest Good Food Guide, the 2020 edition, and we are so very happy and extremely proud of our wonderful teams as both The Lighthouse and Boboli feature. In fact, there are nine listings for our county, Leicestershire and Rutland, two of which are us!
But what is it that the restaurateur seeks? Do we chase the stars and hanker after the accolades that may be bestowed upon us by the critics and the guides, or do we keep our heads down, focus on the quality, look after our customers, and hope that rest will follow? I suspect in all honesty that it is a combination of the two, plus a healthy dose of looking after our team and the business to ensure that it is sustainable. Preening our feathers and patting ourselves on the back often leads to taking one’s eye off the ball!!
Historically critics and restaurateurs enjoy, if that’s the word, something of a love hate relationship. . . they just can’t help loving hating each other, and hate loving each other too! Truth be known, our egos get in the way, of course they do. We all love to be praised, and see our names in print, but we are incensed when the critics get it wrong, or in our view get it wrong. It’s the unanswerable question of who knows best and just how objective are we able to be about our own place?
Equally the critics love the sound of their own voices, by their very existence they have their own egos to massage! With the added complication of social media and open platforms inviting the public to critique us too, it is something of a minefield to manage.
Meanwhile, us restaurateurs continue to beaver away, hoping that the people eating today will appreciate our efforts, and that we will get it right for all the people all of the time! Above all, hoping and praying that our passion, and love, for this crazy, crazy business will be rewarded with success.
Of the guides and critics, we could wax lyrical for hours, but it is really the approval of our customers we most seek. Your recommendations are what really make the difference; it’s not about jumping through hoops to please the powers that be, but pleasing you, the diner, who lives down the road, and visits because you want to, because you like what we do.
For that support and encouragement, we say Grazie Mille
20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ
Q8 What year was Firenze first listed in the Good Food Guide?
Q9 What year was Boboli first listed in the Good Food Guide?
Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary! (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)
Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts. Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.