The parable of the waiter and his customers

Many know the Michelin-starred restaurant. It is housed in a modest building but is renowned for its exquisite cuisine. Several top chefs daily provide a rich menu of exclusive dishes composed and prepared with great expertise and inspiration.

A small team of waiters takes care of a perfect entourage with neatly laid tables, the right tableware, information about the daily specialties. Orders are passed on to the chefs, customers are attended to and their special requests for food are met.

One day, a customer drives up and parks his car in front of the restaurant. He has heard about the quality of the meal. He immediately asks a question: “Unfortunately, I cannot pay for the meal, can’t I eat here for free?” “No,” says the waiter, “unfortunately we can’t do that. The customer leaves the restaurant in a state of incomprehension.

The next customer has a better plan. He asks if he can’t get the meal with 50% discount, because he promises to tell his acquaintances about it as a promotion for the restaurant. Surely, that restaurant must be very happy with the advertisement he wants to make for it. “No”, says the waiter again. “We have fair pricing for our dishes and discounts ultimately undermine the restaurant’s operation”.

Another customer would also like a meal but proposes to pay for it with no money but by giving a nice watch to the waiter. The waiter replies that he already has a watch and that it is especially an inappropriate proposal because an agreed proportion of all revenues is paid to the cook, who is, after all, responsible for those delicious dishes.

The next customer sneaks into the kitchen, because he knows the cook personally, and whispers to him whether he can haggle with the waiter so that, as a good friend, he gets the meal for free. “No”, says the cook, “because this restaurant makes sure that my dishes find their way to the customer in an appropriate way”.

But the good customer also enters the restaurant. He is impressed by the entourage, the service, but especially by the fantastic food. With great pleasure, he undergoes the carefully composed variety of mouth-watering delicacies accompanied by appropriate wines. A tantalizing feast for the taste buds. Satisfied, he finally settles down with the waiter, leaving a tip as a gesture of appreciation. He does not leave the restaurant without first passing through the kitchen and thanking the chef personally.

And the music publisher looked after his composers and musicians for a long time to come.