The people and skills crisis in hospitality is now impacting with ever more affect as the recruitment pool is not growing in line with human resource requirements for reopening.
David Moore, founder of one of London’s oldest Michelin-starred restaurants, Pied à Terre, has made the difficult decision to close for lunch until further notice due to recruitment problems caused by Brexit and Covid.
I caught up with David to better understand the circumstances that led to the decision to reign back service.
Moore is magnanimous in his outlook, sure he does not want to be in the position he finds himself in, but in many ways is more mindful of others in the industry that may be impacted more from the current emergency.
Moore explained his own position saying: “We’ll survive, as although we are reducing service, all service we do offer is fully booked. Currently that equates to enjoying all 45 covers being fully booked every evening.”
Due to a robust financial position being the result of decades of trading well, Moore believes he is under less financial pressure than some of his peers.
He has had chefs move to other restaurants through being offered remuneration packages he understands would have been hard to ignore, and are now being incentivised to bring more of the brigade with them. Turning this into a positive and not blaming the chefs he has found replacements and is working hard alongside them to “refresh the menu with new ideas”.
His concerns are primarily focused on the exclusion from the job market of non UK nationals through Brexit legislation. Being based in London he reflects that the heart of hospitality has always been at the centre of embracing a cosmopolitan culinary mix of ideas and culture that will be hard to replace. “Where would we be without people like Albert and Michel Roux, Raymond Blanc?”
He is also very concerned that hospitality’s place in the education system has declined and is all too evident through a lack of young people trained and educated in hospitality entering into it.
Moore is open to new ideas and looking for solutions, a strong supporter of The Clink Charity he has supported their graduates with training at Pied à Terre.
The interview was refreshing in many ways, all in all Moore is getting on with things a best he can under the current circumstances, with his primary concerns extending to others rather than himself.
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Hospitality & Catering News: David Moore: We’ll survive but I fear many others will not. – 5 July 2021 – David Moore: We’ll survive but I fear many others will not.
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