In G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown short story, ‘The Invisible Man’, the chief suspect appears frequently in events recorded but is barely noticed by witnesses, detectives or the victim.

In the end, the villain, who is disguised as a postman, ubiquitous in everyday life and overlooked as significant in the proceedings, is apprehended.

The message of G.K. Chesterton, a well-known English writer of 100 years ago, is that our lives are supported by countless service professions that are barely acknowledged in the smooth execution of our activities until they are no longer there.

This reflection is still true today.

Think of those who diligently collect our rubbish, keep our streets clean or water the beautiful public hanging baskets, keeping our environment elegant and enjoyable.

Or the attendants who continuously clean our public toilets, rarely seen or thought of.

The ‘invisible man’ is also the backbone of the wonderful, renowned hospitality offerings we all enjoy. The kitchen porters, chefs’ assistants and baristas work professionally and under pressure in peak times to provide a smooth, enjoyable experience for their clients.

The young Europeans, keen to travel and learn English, who used to take these posts in hospitality and were on hand in abundance are simply no longer here.

There is no one to wash the dishes! Government statistics show the East Lothian unemployment rate is 2.8 per cent (Scotland’s is 3.2 per cent).

This is classed as full employment, i.e. anyone looking for a job can find one, though not perhaps the job they want.

In the jobs listings now, most are in hospitality, care and other service industries.

Rates of pay are minimum and, with increased inflation and drastic energy costs looming, this is a recipe for economic disaster.

Be prepared. Your favourite restaurant and café may have to reduce its opening hours, will almost definitely have to increase prices and, sadly, unless something drastic is done, may have to permanently close its doors.

And to be frank, with another impending crisis on our doorstep, we will need hospitality to cheer us up!