Celebrity chef Marcus Wareing: "Government doesn't take fate of hospitality seriously"

3 June 2020, 20:47 | Updated: 3 June 2020, 21:04

By Fiona Jones

Marcus Wareing told LBC he thinks the fate of restaurants are "scary" and yet the government doesn't take his industry seriously at all.

Today it was announced up to 3,000 jobs are likely to be affected as Frankie and Benny's owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) is set to permanently close between 100 and 120 restaurants.

Marcus Wareing called this change "quite scary."

He told LBC's Eddie Mair that it has been difficult for himself and his colleagues, although he is trying to stay hopeful and is thankful his staff are on furlough schemes.

Mr Wareing said: "I'd like to know how we are going to have any form of social distancing in any business, especially a kitchen. Safety for staff, safety for customers.

"The minute you've got social distancing, two metre or even one metre, the maths just don't stack up. There are some scary statistics, when you look at your business structure and you see what turnover you put in...our bank accounts are empty every month that goes by."

Celebrity chef Marcus Wareing: "Government doesn't take fate of hospitality seriously"
Celebrity chef Marcus Wareing: "Government doesn't take fate of hospitality seriously". Picture: LBC/PA

"I'm struggling to find a way how we can possibly open if we're shut for even three more months because they'll be no money in the bank to open and furlough is about to run out somewhere down the line," Mr Wareing said.

"I would like the government to get involved in rent...I know for a fact I can't pay full rent for the month of August or September when I'm due to open...because there won't be enough money in the till unfortunately," Mr Wareing said.

He remarked that the government do not take his industry seriously at all: "I feel like a sitting duck waiting to be shot down."

"What the government need to do is stop looking at the country as a whole and businesses as a whole and start to break them up in to categories and start...looking into getting business leaders round a table, not just one or two...and let's try and work our way through this," he said.

"If we get an opportunity we will survive...we just need a bit of help," he said.

While some outlets have managed to put up dividers, Marcus Wareing said this was not a viable option for his restaurants at the moment.

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