Never before did I realise that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn't it?" Ken Kesey
Is DapperDan crazy crazy or just trying to act crazy to serve his own agenda? I actually think, he thinks he's sane. I think he is certifiably insane.
I didn't open today. I couldn't afford it. Penalty rates saw to that. The Queen can celebrate her Birthday somewhere else. It was disappointing, because my little beach side bistro in Sorrento is punching above its weight, with Chef Wilson revisiting pub classics and comfort food by the fire. Saturday and Sunday were full for both sittings, lunch and dinner. We took $5k and $7k respectively for the 2 day's trade. Not bad for a 20 seater.
It takes 10 staff to pull it off and, believe me, they are putting in the hard yards. The new normal is not a hash tag, it is executing a brand new business plan with the added complexity imposed by DapperDan. I am proud to say, that we are following the rules. After visiting other establishments over the weekend, both locally and in the big smoke, I can assure you others are not.
I heard a ripping yarn about a Greek who ambushed a Federal Treasurer;
CC: Wayne Swan, allow me to introduce myself. I am Constantine Christopoulos. I am the owner of The European. You can call me Con. I'm an industry legend.
WS: (Once he realised the burly bald man in sweat pants wasn't going to hurt him) Nice to meet you Con.
CC: Wayne, can I call you Wayne?
WS: Err, I suppose so.
CC: Wayne, I have a problem.
WS: How can I help?
CC: How was your whiting?
WS: Superb, I love S.A. whiting. I have friends in S.A. and they tell me how good it is. Superb, thank you.
CC: I'm pleased. Wayne, how much do you think it cost, in percentage terms, to serve you that delicious meal? I'll tell you. Normally such a tasty piece of fish would cost 50%, but I am an industry legend. I put it on the plate for 40%. And Wayne, How much do you think it costs, in percentage terms, for the chefs to cook it and my staff to serve it? Let me tell you. Normally a high end CBD restaurant that prides itself on quality food and good service, has a wage cost of 50%, but I am an industry legend. I put it on the plate for 40%. And Wayne, what do you think rent and utilities and other costs add up to in percentage terms? I'm going to tell you, around 20%, but I am an industry legend. I run my business at around 15%
WS: Well Con, it sounds lean but at least you're making a 5% profit.
CC: Ah ha. I knew you were smart. That's why you are the Federal Treasurer. But, that's not my problem. My problem is that there are 13 public holidays in a year. On those days, wage costs sky rocket 250%. Now, do you remember my wage cost Wayne?
WS: Yes, 40%
CC: And what is 2.5 times 40%?
CC: And that Wayne, is my problem. What should I do?
WS: A surcharge?
CC: Ah ha. I knew you were going to offer that. I would have to charge a 40% surcharge on your whiting to get back to my 5% margin. Now Wayne, would you be prepared to pay a 40% surcharge?
WS: No, I don't think I would.
CC: So what do I do Wayne?
WS: I don’t know.
CC: Wayne, thanks for your time.
DapperDan has tweeted this evening the following:
"To everyone working today: you've earned your penalty rates. If you are starting your shift - stay safe. And if you're just clocking off - have a good rest."
It's official, the cuckoo has flown the nest.
I challenge the Federal and State governments to calculate the economic cost of national hospitality closure on the 14 public holidays this year. That's right, Boxing Day falls on a Saturday so the holiday is on Monday 28th, December.
You want employment? You want stimulus? You want supply chains to rebuild? You want economic recovery? For Jack's sake, stop the madness.