Michelin-starred restaurant terminates lunch service due to understaffing


Restaurants are struggling to strengthen their workforce. Photo: Léon Neal / Getty Images

A Michelin-starred restaurant in London has canceled its lunch session to “save” its depleted workforce due to a staff shortage.

David Moore, the founder of Pied à Terre told the BBC the situation was a “kick in the teeth” as it feared for the overworked staff.

This is the latest example of hotel staff being routed as Brexit and COVID-19 drained staff.

According to official data on the employment of National Statistics Office (ONS), the food services and accommodation sector saw the biggest increase in job vacancies, up 265.5%, of all industries in March, as lockdown restrictions began to soften.

Some companies have used incentives to tackle the shortage. Examples include bonuses or gift certificates for staff who recommend friends for jobs.

The news comes on the heels of data showing that a shortage in the hospitality industry has pushed up the average wage for employees in pubs and restaurants by 14%.

Based on data from Indeed Flex, an online marketplace for flexible workers, the hiring crisis is pushing companies in the sector to turn to temporary staff to meet demand.

Read more: Staff shortage in UK pushes up pub and restaurant wages by 14%

Weekend workers enjoy the biggest benefits, with those shifts typically paying 9% more than pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, weekday rates of pay have increased by an average of 5% across the UK, far exceeding the 1.8% increase in the minimum wage between 2019 and 2021.

Salary increases vary across the country, with Greater Manchester and Cheshire seeing the largest salary increases, Indeed Flex said. Hourly rates for temporary workers in these areas increased 11.15% for reception staff on weekdays and 13.87% for weekend workers compared to May 2019.

Watch: Hotels and restaurants grapple with staffing issues


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