Heston Blumenthal’s losses doubled over the past year – is The Fat Duck safe?

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Michelin starred Heston Blumenthal is the latest of the UK’s famed chefs to report major losses for 2018.

A decline in profitability for Snail Porridge Limited, parent company of the three Michelin-starred restaurant, the Fat Duck, as well as the one Michelin star Hinds Head pub in Berkshire and several of the Michelin-starred chefs’ other business arms, The Observer reported, was to blame for a million pound post-tax loss declared for 2018. 

And the problem isn’t just Heston’s: the number of restaurants having filed for insolvency is said to have almost doubled in the past eight years.

Costs associated with Brexit, rising food prices – a problem exacerbated by the use of high-value ingredients in fine dining restaurants - and national living wage increases were cited in the group’s accounts.

Earlier this year, the chef was caught up in controversy as it emerged that his international restaurant group, Cape Proprietary Inc, utilises several Caribbean and European tax havens – namely, the Island of Nevis – to minimise corporation tax bills.

The news that the company’s pre-tax profits dropped by 235,357 in the past year cast some light on why the company may have turned to such measures, though it remains a matter of contention.

The Staff Canteen contacted The Fat Duck for comment but received no response.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 9th April 2019

Heston Blumenthal’s losses doubled over the past year – is The Fat Duck safe?