I know it sounds like a cliché Agatha Christie’s novel, (Death of the Dining Room Table) but I think we are all culprits in this whodunnit!

At home, we have a basket of old newspapers beside the wood burner. A few months ago, I was flicking through the sheets (just about to scrunch them up to light the fire) when I noticed an random article.  It was the John Lewis’ worst sellers for 2016, and at the top of the list was tablecloths and cutlery sets; not what you would expect or indeed not what I was expecting!

It made me wonder, what is causing their downfall? On reflection, I wondered if it had something to do with the fact that ‘family meal time’ is much less common occurrence than it was a few generations ago. In our time-poor working culture where quick meals on the move have become ‘the norm’, I suppose there is little point in investing in tablecloths and matching cutlery.  This list only adds to the growing evidence as a cause of death.

I still remember my younger years, when every evening, we would all sit around the dinner table and put the world to rights, discuss our day, our plans, our feelings, the mundane or just tease Dad about his new glasses. This is really what I’m getting at; families don’t talk to each other enough anymore. Social media is fantastic at offering us access to talk to anyone in the world. But we are all so busy looking out at the rest of the world through the rose-tinted screen (or flower filter) of Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram, seeing what everyone else is doing that we are failing to invest in the more important topics of interest, our family!

So for the last few months, I have made a point of sitting down for an evening meal as a family unit (no phones!) and it does bring us together. We talk about our day, our plans, our issues and why match attack cards are better than Pokémon (that’ll be my 7 year old’s input) and, as the saying goes, it’s good to talk! And better that we all feel valued and listened to.

As your catering team, we are striving to get our customers to enjoy food together even if it’s just with your work colleagues; it’s a step in the right direction.

So let’s make an extra effort to eat more together and prevent the death of the dining room table before it becomes a serial killer!

Stephen Toward

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