Michelin-starred restaurant The Peat Inn to reduce operating hours for the foreseeable future

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Geoffrey & Katherine Smeddle, owners of Michelin-starred Fife restaurant The Peat Inn have made the decision to reduce their opening hours 'for the foreseeable future,' suspending lunch service to protect staff wellbeing.

The couple said they would continue to cater for residents and maintain an evening service but that due to current staff shortages, they have found it impossible to cover two services each day, and that in the interest of the current team's wellbeing they had been left with no choice.

The hospitality industry's staffing crisis has reached such levels in the UK that many operators have had to adapt their opening hours to ensure that teams in place aren't obliged to work excessive hours - Le Gavroche also suspended lunch services, while others are transitioning to four-day work weeks, like The Cellar in Fife and The Seren Collection restaurants.

Commenting on the decision, Katherine said: “It has been a very stressful time for the hospitality industry during the pandemic.  Since reopening in April, we have struggled to recruit the staffing levels we require at The Peat Inn.  

"Over the last 15 years of running the business we have never had so few applicants for our vacancies.  The welfare and mental health of our employees has always been our priority and with no additional support for the team we decided we would reduce the workload by suspending our lunch service.”

Geoffrey concurred, and added: “In the past, there has been a perception that working in the hospitality industry is renowned for long hours, but just because it has always been this way in the past doesn’t mean it needs to continue.

"Our business is only as good as the team we have running it and we value each and every one of our team and that’s why we are putting them first.

“With the school exam results announced we want young adults to know that working in the hospitality industry can be a great career choice, and our industry is changing, with employers addressing a sustainable work-life balance.”

Katherine apologised to guests who may be disappointed by the move and thanks those who understood the decision “to put our staff first."

"We hope that we will be able to re-open our lunch service at some point in the future but until we can increase our award-winning team we will continue to take exceptional care of our residential guests and of course our evening diners.”

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 12th August 2021

Michelin-starred restaurant The Peat Inn to reduce operating hours for the foreseeable future