Pied à Terre joins list of restaurants closing for lunch due to staffing crisis

The  Staff Canteen

Restaurateur David Moore founder of London Michelin-starred restaurant, Pied à Terre has decided to close the restaurant for lunch until further notice due to recruitment issues relating both to Brexit and Covid.

As of Saturday 26th June, the iconic restaurant, which is celebrating its 30th year, will be open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday, in what a spokesperson for the restaurant said was an effort "to protect the welfare of the team and maintain the high standards of food and service the restaurant is renowned for."

The news comes after two Michelin-starred London institution Le Gavroche announced that it would too be reducing its operating hours due to a lack of skilled staff, but the problem is understood to be widespread across the capital and the country.

A mass exodus of hospitality workers to other jobs during the pandemic, compounded by the effects of Brexit - which it is thought to have led to more than 1.3 million people leaving the UK - are two root causes of a massive lack of staff in the industry.

David Moore has been vocally critical of the government's lack of post-Brexit employment incentives, which set the minimum salary for EU workers to come and work in the UK at £30,000. He has called for measures to entice young people from the EU and the Commonwealth to come to the UK, such as working visas.

However, just this morning, the government ruled out the introduction of 'hospitality visas' - a policy supported by many in the industry, including pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss, Tim Martin - saying that it instead intends on turning to the domestic workforce to fill positions in hospitality. 

It called the suggestion "innapropriate" given that so many British workers remain on furlough due to the pandemic.

A spokesperson for the Home Office told the i: “We want employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic workforce, especially those needing to find new employment as a result of the restrictions, rather than relying on labour from abroad.

“It would be inappropriate to introduce a new visa route with high numbers of people in the sector benefitting from the furlough scheme. We want them to be able to get back to their jobs when restrictions end.”

Meanwhile, Lib Dem MP Layla Moran told the publication that although the staffing situation in hospitality is urgent, "the Prime Minister doesn’t seem to understand."

“The industry is on its knees. It’s a perfect storm of Brexit and the pandemic and even with workers back from furlough, there will be a shortfall in staff, especially when restrictions lift and things get busier.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st June 2021

Pied à Terre joins list of restaurants closing for lunch due to staffing crisis