Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic has seen him lose out on almost £60m worth of trade.
Ramsay, who has 18 restaurants in London alone, has been forced to close every single one of his UK restaurants during the three government-imposed lockdowns. Speaking to The Sun about when the pandemic first hit, the TV chef said: "Having been through so much with the 2008 financial crash, then terrorist attacks and 9/11, when Covid first hit, we all thought it would be over and done with in a couple of weeks."
He went on to tell the paper: "In December we had £10m-worth of reservations wiped out overnight, and as of 19 March last year to 3 February this year we've suffered £57.5m of turnover down. I'm in it."
Since March, Ramsay, who is the presenter of brand-new BBC quiz show bank balance, has made use of the furlough scheme to save hundreds of jobs nationwide, but has also faced criticism after initially being forced to make many of his staff redundant. Speaking about his responsibility within the industry he told The Sun: "Since 1998, when I started, I have always put my money back into the business. I've never been greedy, I've always been very, very generous."
He added: "I get criticised for being wealthy, but the responsibility on my shoulders - the livelihoods at stake - is huge. I feel that pressure enormously, and the impact of all this has been devastating and incredibly costly."
In a video call with chancellor Rishi Sunak last week, Ramsay explained how important both the VAT cut and business rates holiday had been for the survival of his restaurant empire.
Last August it was reported that Ramsay was planning to open 50 new restaurants across the UK despite the difficulties caused by Covid. The first of these new restaurants, Gordon Ramsay Burger, opened in London's Harrod's in late 2020 and charges up to £80 for a burger.
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