A Michelin-starred London restaurant has announced it will stop serving lunch due to staff shortages in the UK’s hospitality sector, exasperated by the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.
David Moore, founder of French restaurant Pied a Terre in Fitzrovia, said the decision had been made in order to preserve the wellbeing of his existing workforce. In a statement to the press, Mr Moore said: “If I slog them to death, in two weeks' time, I won't have a restaurant.”
“You struggle through everything that we have had to struggle through with Covid, and then you come back and you get another kick in the teeth” he said.
Moore is the latest in a series of industry figures to express concerns about staff shortages caused by the pandemic. As the UK economy recovers from the impact of Covid-19, it is believed that several jobseekers are turning their back on the hospitality industry, viewing it as unstable, at-risk work. Pied a Terre has experienced this lack of interest in new roles first hand. Mr Moore detailed how he received 800 applications when he advertised for a receptionist role in November 2020. However, when he re-advertised for the role three weeks ago, he received just seven responses and nobody turned up for an interview.
The ongoing saga of Brexit is another worry for restaurants, with Mr Moore stating that before the pandemic, just three of his 30-strong team of staff were British. Speaking about growing concerns over staff shortages, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said the issue was a “perennial problem” which has been "aggravated further by many foreign workers not returning to the UK, either because of travel restrictions or their ability to resume work in the UK.”
It seems that although restaurants are back open, the hospitality industry in the UK is far from out of the woods yet.
To support the likes of Pied a Terre, see our list of all Michelin star restaurants in London.