• Morgan Fagg

The World is your Oyster

Ah shuck it, don't knife the hand that feeds you. Well, at least the world is her, you know, oyster. Seriously that is an expensive oyster for a restaurant to have to FORK out on.

Let's hope she doesn't become a little shellfish.

A few weeks ago, I read the story in the Irish Independent about a chef who was awarded €75,000 after cutting her hand preparing oysters. A pricey pearl to have to pay for.

Many hands make light work but at the end of the night, no one wants to pick up a €75,000 bill for some delicious oysters.

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch and I wonder where €75,000 comes from? Here in Spain I can buy oysters for two with two classes of cava included for €15 from my local market. A nice intimate corner bar located by the fishmonger stalls with a very friendly server. Fantastico.

€15 might not feed the family but you are getting a lot for €15 and I am reminded of a speech made by Supermacs founder Pat McDonagh while attending a business networking event in Athlone where he discussed the situation he faced in his own restaurants and the legal advice that he received.

People were falling in his franchises and claiming a tonne of money for their little trips.

The Legal advice he was given was to pay the money, "it's only €5,000, €25,000" etc but he knew you had to sell a lot of chips on a Saturday night to fork out €5,000 for an accident. Some of the accidents were of course avoidable if people didn't deliberately spill water on the floor and take several attempts at injuring themselves.

This chef I believe was awarded far too much but before you think I am judging her harshly, I am no judge and just believe the amount to be excessive and we have to ask how much of that €75,000 she gets to keep and how much is paid in legal fees and expenses and even with €75,000 in the bank, how quick is a bank to give you a loan for your own restaurant when the insurance costs and rent for a nice restaurant, I imagine are astronomical.

Talk about Pie-in-the-sky but who benefits from this hefty fee, I imagine lawyers and solicitors but for the restaurant owner and future restauranteurs, this case is enough to remove oysters from the menu altogether. Insurance costs affects us all and the Irish pay a fortune on food and insurance as it is.

Adding insult to injury, what good is €75,000 in a settlement if you can't open your own restaurant or buy an apartment or house and all you get is your picture in the papers and big bill from your legal team? I fear we are simply cutting off the hand that feeds us.

NEWSPAPER LINK: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/chef-awarded-75k-after-cutting-hand-while-shucking-oyster-37572207.html?fbclid=IwAR3-nht8Ra7RNUKHJmVhe3Vp1joYUXBKBWjYi710wzBYCqGlKoMh_-zCETQ

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