WHY CANNOT old companies, including restaurants, continue for ever in the format that we have grown to love and appreciate (just think of greats like ‘GEC’, ‘Kalamazoo’, etc, if you are old enough!)?
There are a multitude of reasons and not least of which, and certainly for retailing, is the constant change in public tastes and demands. So when a business appears to close its doors, rather suddenly, one immediate thought may be ‘it is no longer the service / facility / product wanted by people’.
Change can put excessive pressures on management styles, attitudes, finance and staff – and if just one factor is missing the end result may well be closure.
Companies, and indeed charities, cannot operate at a loss just to continue to satisfy a tiny minority. Sentimentality and nostalgia are wonderful human feelings, but we cannot live in the past – and let someone else pick up the tab!
So, regarding the future of the King’s Head Hotel in Horsham’s Carfax, we should be truly elated when someone (the ‘Adam and Stephen King’ company) has the finance, foresight and business fire to refurbish to modern standards (especially health and safety) an historical landmark, changing what could be considered a running sore into a viable, vibrant restaurant that satisfies the tastes of today, at a high standard and adding to the experience of visiting our fantastic town centre. More choice can well increase the magnetism of our dining quarter of choice.
Certainly the ASK restaurants we have visited in Crawley and Orpington (where my partner and I enjoyed our first ‘date’ some years ago – not that that makes it a better restaurant!) offer a reasonably priced and attractive menu, of their style.
Equally important, or maybe more so, I suspect the staff are given valid and valuable training (as seems so apparent when visiting France, restaurant service is an art, and it can/should be taught).
Of course I assume the historically interesting and important (?) architecture and structure of The King’s Head will be sympathetically and securely restored and maintained.
Hopefully those aims will be achieved – but possibly at a cost beyond most ‘individual businesses’, so again we should not decry or disparage another chain becoming part of our local economy.
Certainly other very old buildings appear to have created a great ambience for a most pleasing dining experience (examples may include Tristans, and Pizza Express).
So perhaps ASK will be seen as a saviour for rescuing a prominent edifice, and apparently much loved, in our town centre?
Whatever our individual tastes may be, let us be pleased The King’s Head will come to life again soon – adding another upgrade to our environment.
RONALD W. VIMPANY
Fay Road, Horsham