Richard Ord: Think of the dish washing staff when your meal comes served on a tree trunk

Fish and chips served on a chopping board and peas in a latte mug
Fish and chips served on a chopping board and peas in a latte mug

My eldest son told me that when he gets a job, with his first wage packet he would buy me a cricket bat.

It was a nice gesture, but given our Bradley’s reluctance to seek gainful employment, I told him I’d probably be more in need of a walking stick or Zimmer frame by the time he gets a salary.

How wrong I was. With the pressure of having no money to buy himself the finer things in life, like Nutella and beef jerky (the staple diet of the average 17-year-old), he finally succumbed and got himself a part-time job to supplement his teenage lifestyle.

He managed to secure a position that plays to his strengths. Our Bradley is working as a dishwasher.

When I say ‘play to his strengths’, what I mean is that, since he has never washed a dish in his life, he could look the interviewer in the eye and honestly answer that he was up for the challenge – since he doesn’t know any different.

After his first shift, he moaned his was physically exhausted. The modern trend to forgo the traditional plate was to blame.

Instead of china plates, the restaurant serves its food up on wooden platters!

Our Bradley said they were far heavier than normal plates and harder to clean.

I warned him that he ought to be grateful they’ve gone for rustic charm – if they switch to urban chic as a theme he could be washing concrete paving slabs.

We paid a visit to the restaurant and, sure enough, the plates were hewn from tree trunks.

The role of dishwasher has clearly developed. Once they just scrubbed dishes and checked for chipped plates. Today they’re scrubbing, sandpapering and monitoring for Dutch Elm disease.

The dare to different approach of ‘natural’ crockery has yet to extend beyond the plate. The plate was wooden, the knives and forks were stainless steel.

How long before they’re replaced with twigs and branches? The washing up area would look like a jungle.

Everyone’s looking for a new angle on dining, particularly if it saves money.

The natural plates are the latest. But with the abundance of teenagers looking for work, I suspect it won’t be long before they dispense with cutlery and just use the teens themselves.

The customer is delivered their food and instead of using a knife and fork, simply nods in the direction of the portion they with to eat and the teen pops it into their mouth.

You watch, that’s the future. There’s so much automation, the future will see humans carrying out the most mundane of tasks.

Our Bradley won’t be washing oak plates, but teenagers hands in the restaurant of the future.

I’m still, however, holding out for that cricket bat.

Who knows, if the restaurant opts for a sports theme in the future, they might just be serving up pizzas on the back of cricket bats!

Bradley could nick one for me.