“Only the European Union could send an English health and safety inspector to the heart of Rural Italy.” So says Lorenzo Campagno, patriarch of the family-run village restaurant in remote Santo Stefano. For years he and his children have kept the restaurant open against the prevailing forces of globalization and depopulation, and the restaurant remains at the centre of
Enter restaurant inspector Philip Shuttleworth: fussy, eccentric, and very English. His inspection is picky, but highly critical, and the restaurant is given two months to reform or face a fine that would put them out of business.
Stunned, the family set about revamping the restaurant and its menu to meet the requirements of the report. But the clinical approach demanded by the inspector does not go down well with the customers. As the villagers start to abandon the restaurant, their own communal life falls into decline. To make matters worse, Lorenzo discovers that the inspector has befriended his
daughter when he catches them together in the restaurant kitchen.
With the restaurant struggling to attract customers, the return of the inspector imminent, and the village’s very soul under threat, Lorenzo and his family urgently need to find a way to keep the restaurant and the village alive.
This is a hook.
The only quibble I have (and it wouldn't keep me from reading pages) is wondering if the inspector is hanging about town (befriended his daugher when he catches them together) or if the inspector is not there for the duration of the novel (return of the inspector imminent).
This is an old trope but it's got a fresh twist with the EU thing.