‘I feel bad because I know this cost of living crisis will finish a lot of businesses off'

The Staff Canteen

In an interview with The Times, Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has expressed how ‘political’ food has become and it’s simply a waiting game for the cost of living to really hit businesses hard.

He said: “The chef’s role has changed so much since I began cooking 30 years ago. I got into this because I love cooking and I want to be the best but, more and more, food is political. Every week I get asked to go on TV and discuss farming methods or seasonality.”

Tom has openly admitted he lost millions due to the pandemic. In The Times he detailed the rise in prices he has already seen from butter up £23 to £70 to a drum of vegetable oil which is now nearly £50, he says ‘that’s a 200 per cent rise’.

He continued: “It’s kind of begun hasn’t it? We’re enjoying the summer but everyone knows inflation is already running rampant. As soon as the clocks go back and the heating goes on, we’re facing a crisis.

“Now it feels like we are going into the woods again. I feel bad because I know this cost of living crisis will finish a lot of businesses off. But you know what? I relish the challenge.”


Tom is no stranger to supporting both the hospitality industry and his community, he cooked for them during Covid and is part of Full Time with Manchester United player Marcus Rashford, a child food poverty campaign.

“A hundred per cent it makes me angry there are more food banks than branches of McDonald’s in this country. 

“But I also think: never punish people who are making good money, who’ve achieved a great lifestyle. You don’t help to feed children by making successful people ashamed because I am one of those people. We can all do things to help like donating to a food bank or giving cash. Personally I think it’s better for me and Marcus to put 52 budget-friendly recipes on social media, which will help feed a lot of hungry kids, rather than, say, just giving away £50,000.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want to ride in a Bentley, it costs money. If you’re on a budget there’s an intensely farmed Ford Focus available round the corner and that’s fine by me.

“Anyone who knows me can see that I cook for people in the real world.”

Tom has told The Staff Canteen many times the key to his success is having a great team. He reiterates this, telling The Times he thinks ‘the days of the temperamental kitchen genius have faded’.

“Now it’s about building the team. Everyone knows you cannot build a successful restaurant business alone and people expect you to improve the lives of staff.”

He added: “I’m a bit nervous and braced for a tough couple of years but I also know we will find a way to adapt. Maybe we just leave a few vacancies unfilled, or we open five days a week instead of seven or we reduce the menu slightly. Fundamentally, we’ll be OK because British people love great food and drink and they will come back. I fully intend to be there to meet them.”

Read the full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tom-kerridge-why-i-fight-child-poverty-but-also-sell-87-steak-m2drlh37v

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th August 2022

‘I feel bad because I know this cost of living crisis will finish a lot of businesses off'