Restaurants in Parliament to close early due to a shortage of chefs

The Staff Canteen

Restaurants within the Houses of Parliament have reduced their operating hours due to industry-wide staff shortages.

The catering service, which manages 15 venues, encompassing bars, restaurants, and banqueting rooms across the broader parliamentary estate, has encountered difficulties in recruiting hospitality workers.

Speaking to Times Radio, Sir Charles Walker, the Conservative MP for Broxbourne and chair of the House of Commons Administration Committee, revealed that the catering department is currently facing a shortage of approximately 38 chefs.

This shortfall in staff has hindered their ability to provide a full range of services, with 38 active vacancies across the entire catering services team at the Houses of Parliament.

The House of Commons Catering Service operates across all five buildings within the parliamentary estate, providing services like the Members' Dining Room, the Adjournment, and Bellamy's.

These venues cater to approximately 1.5 million guests each year, including the 650 elected Members of Parliament, 14,500 pass-holders, and non-pass holders.

Staff shortages within the Houses of Parliament represent and industry-wide problem, with 132,000 job vacancies reported between February and April of this year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Hospitality trade bodies have repeatedly requested that chefs be added to the shortage occupation list by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which would make it easier for businesses to recruit from abroad.

However, the MAC stated in March that there was insufficient substantial evidence indicating that hospitality job roles could not be filled by UK workers.


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st July 2023

Restaurants in Parliament to close early due to a shortage of chefs