On the 26th of April 2010 we found out that we placed 31st in the S.Pelligrino World Top 50. This year is the sixth consecutive, and seventh year overall, that we’ve been included in the World Top 50 Restaurants. It’s always a huge honour but awards, in the hospitality and food industry, are a double-edged sword.
On the positive side it’s fantastic recognition and, in the eyes of the guest, it places you on another level. Plus who doesn’t enjoy awards? It makes you feel important and noticed. It makes you feel that – on some level – what you’re doing is worth it. Which is a little ridiculous because if you really think about it, if you really love what you do (and at Le Quartier Français we love what we do), it doesn’t matter whether you win an award or not. If you’re passionate you shouldn’t need to be recognised, your passion should be enough. But somehow, even keeping the whole passion argument in mind, it does matter. Being recognised is important but being recognised also makes it incredibly difficult to manage guests’ expectations.
When you’ve been considered a Top 50 restaurant for six consecutive years, like we have, some people expect an experience that is impossible to deliver. In fact if we weren’t in the industry we’d also have unrealistic expectations about some of the award winning restaurants.
Mind you we’re not complaining, we’re just saying that while we wait every year – with bated breathe – to find out if and where in the Top 50 we have placed we hope we did both better and worse than the previous year. Because better would be mean keeping the dragon off our back, for another 365 days, and worse would mean the ability to exceed more of our guests’ expectations.