Pub formerly associated with Pierre Koffmann closes due to staff issues

Alex South

Alex South


Three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann worked at The Muddy Duck restaurant as it's culinary director, between July 2021 and February 2023 before it closed, with The Muddy Duck's second pub outlet closing it's doors on 21 April.

Citing "untenable" staffing issues, The Muddy Duck pub in Bicester has announced it will temporarily close.

Despite the pub labelling the closure as temporary, it didn't confirm when it is expected to reopen.

A statement from the pub said: "Due to ongoing, untenable issues with staffing and recruitment in the hospitality industry currently, we have made the sad and difficult decision to temporarily close The Muddy Duck. The premises will close as of this Friday, April 21."

The pub added: "If you have an upcoming reservation with us this will regrettably be cancelled and you will be contacted shortly to this effect. Many thanks for your continued support. We'll be back to communicate future plans very soon."

The pub has previously faced staffing and recruitment issues with it also reporting difficulties hiring staff after reopening from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Muddy Duck made headlines in July 2021, when it announced that Pierre Koffmann would be working with The Muddy Duck's restaurant venture as it's culinary director.

The group owners Gemma and Nigel Harris have previously told local media that they did not have enough experienced staff on board at their fine-dining restaurant which closed in February 2023. 

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Gemma said: “We simply can’t recruit enough front of house staff. We have a lovely young team, but we need five or six more experienced staff. Before opening, we reached out to people we know who have previously worked for us, but they are all now in different industries.

“The interior is done. The kitchen team are raring to go. But we can’t open the restaurants until we have enough staff. Brexit and Covid haven’t helped, and nowadays the younger generation can work from home in their pyjamas, so enticing them into hospitality is tough,” she told the paper.

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 24th April 2023

Pub formerly associated with Pierre Koffmann closes due to staff issues