'There is still a trickle effect of major problems affecting our industry, in this instance, staffing'

The  Staff Canteen

Two Michelin-starred London institution Le Gavroche is reducing its operating hours due to a lack of skilled staff, chef patron Michel Roux Jr. explained in an email sent to guests.

The chef, whose father and uncle, Albert Roux and Michel Roux Snr., first opened Le Gavroche in 1967, said that due to "a trickle effect of major problems affecting our industry, in this instance, staffing," he was postponing all lunch services at the restaurant from June 14th "until further notice." 

After admitting to "seriously contemplating shutting up shop" last summer, the chef said that "the past year has sadly taken a great toll on the hospitality industry," and that despite being able to breathe a sigh of relief at being allowed to reopen, the lack of a skilled workforce left him with no choice but to reduce operating hours.

'A major lack of well-trained hospitality professionals'

Staff may have left because they were originally from abroad and are either unwilling or unable to return currently, or because they chose to work in other industries.

This could be temporary, for the sake of job security in the face of ongoing uncertainty, or permanent, for those who decided to step away for financial reasons, or because they found a better work-life balance elsewhere. 

Whatever the case, Michel Roux Jr said: that "since opening, restaurants up and down the country have suffered greatly with staffing problems," pointing at Brexit but also the general lack of trained professionals in the industry, adding that "whilst we have been working our hardest to resolve this issue over the last couple of months, Le Gavroche is sadly understaffed for the time being."

He continued: "Whilst it is incredibly frustrating and painful to report this, we have decided to open for dinner only from 5pm starting from June 14th until further notice.

Guests will have their lunch bookings rearranged as dinner reservations, he explained, as "the alternative at this point would be to essentially overwork our existing staff which we are not prepared to do as I’m sure you can understand.

"Our staff wellbeing is of utmost importance to us both mentally and physically and we work hard each and every service to ensure our standards are at the absolute highest of culinary excellence.

"Your patience and understanding is much appreciated at this time. We are currently working tirelessly to ensure we can resume business as usual at the earliest opportunity and are very much hoping to welcome our valued guests back at lunchtime before long."

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd June 2021

'There is still a trickle effect of major problems affecting our industry, in this instance, staffing'