Tread carefully at Kakadu

Ashley threw another log on the fire and lay on his back. He watched the stars flash and sparkle in the night sky, wondering at the beauty and sadness of so much space.

“Take a look at that – it’s just incredible!”

“Wow” said Mary, “I’ve never seen such a clear sky.”

“It reminds me of Kakadu.”

“What’s Kakadu?”

“Kakadu is where I lost my shoe.”

They lay in silence, each tracing imaginary lines between stars to make pictures.

Suddenly Mary rolled on her side, propping herself on an elbow. “You lost your shoe in Kakadu?”

“Kakadu Park in Darwin. I was running away from a crocodile.”

“You were chased by a crocodile?” Mary’s eyes widened.

“Chased is a bit strong.” Ashley felt his manhood threatened. “I’d say he showed a keen interest.”

“Oh really? And what did you show him?”

“I showed him how fast I can run.”

“And how fast can you run with only one shoe when you’re running from a crocodile in Kakadu?”

“Like a kangaroo I bounced in my fitflop shoes right up to the stars in Kakadu.”

She eyed Ashley with suspicion. “But I thought you said you lost a shoe to a hungry crocodile in Kakadu.”

Ashley was quiet for a moment. Then he spoke sheepishly. “Did I say that? Well I didn’t exactly lose my shoe. He tore a chunk from my fiftflops in Kakadu.”

Mary sensed blood and moved in for the kill. “I don’t believe you, show me your shoe. I want to inspect the damage from Kakadu.”

So Ashley swung one leg onto his knee and in the light of the camp fire Mary could see the damage to the heel of his fitflop shoe where the crocodile had snapped in Kakadu.

And Mary said “Oh.”

“Yes,” said Ahsley proudly, “I call them my fitflop highfives – I’m sure you can guess the reason why.”

They both looked up just in time to see a shooting star hurtle across the sky. Each of them thought, “I’m so lucky,” but they kept the thought to themselves.

Mary said, “Quick, make a wish and I’ve made mine, to wear fitflop shoes and reach up to the sky.”

“You’re not supposed to tell me,” said Ashley. Then they fell into a fit of giggles.

© Steve Bird 2013


Value added

The biggest complaint I’ve heard from people over the years about eating out in restaurants relates to value. It’s happened to all of us: you go to a restaurant looking for a good eating experience. The ambiance is average, the service is nothing special and the food is fairly ordinary. Fifty quid later, you wonder why you didn’t stay at home and cook the meal yourself.

If you’re thinking of running a secret restaurant or pop-up diner, the notion of value needs careful consideration. People will be paying to eat at your restaurant so you need to offer a memorable experience.

Imagine a punter going to work on Monday after being at your restaurant on Saturday night. A colleague asks them what they did over the weekend. What you want them to say is, “Well, I went to a secret diner at a stranger’s house. The food was amazing, the service was great and I met some interesting people.”

It’s a big talking point, and if it was a positive experience, they will be speaking highly of you. The colleague will want to know what you ate; what the other diners were like; if it was any good. If your punter recommends you, then the colleague may want to come too.

And therein lies the value of pop-up dining: it’s something off-beat where you have the opportunity to meet some interesting people. And it’s more like private dining than a normal restaurant because you are free to talk to everyone in the room.

So think carefully; unlike the average neighbourhood restaurant, you want to leave people feeling good about spending money at your secret diner / pop-up restaurant.

At Noshi Noshi @ Reynolds Diner, we add value in another interesting way: our diners have the opportunity to get stuck in and actually make one of their courses. I’ll tell you more about that in the next post.