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Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants slash 300 jobs after lockdowns push losses to £7m

·2-min read
Gordon Ramsay restaurants
Gordon Ramsay restaurants

Gordon Ramsay's restaurant empire shed 300 staff last year as lockdowns pushed losses at his restaurants to almost £7m.

Restaurant staff were let go as Covid-19 brought business to a halt but the company also lost almost a quarter of its head office workers, new accounts show.

Pre-tax losses at the Kitchen Nightmares presenter’s restaurant group rose to £6.8m in the 12 months to August 2021, up from £5m in 2020.

Turnover at Gordon Ramsay Restaurants declined by 24pc to £26.2m.

The group operates 35 restaurants in the UK, ranging from the three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to Gordon Ramsay Plane Food at Heathrow and casual dining chain Bread Street Kitchen. It also has international franchises in locations including Saudi Arabia and Kuala Lumpur.

Despite heavy losses, the company's best-paid director was given a total pay package of £327,000 for the year.

Andy Wenlock, Ramsay’s business partner, warned that the state of the British economy "presents challenges for many consumer businesses".

"While the group has been able to support its staff through the Government's coronavirus job retention scheme, and has now fully reopened, it is clear that the economy has suffered, and restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic, and subsequent supply chain issues, present challenges for many consumer businesses,” he wrote in the company’s accounts.

"The UK economy is beginning to see significant impacts and risks arising from geopolitical issues, with international tensions and war in Europe, together with global supply chain challenges impacting commodity prices."

Mr Ramsay plans to continue expanding despite the downturn and losses, renegotiating financing worth £25m with lender Barclays. He is personally backstopping loans worth £5m, a long standing arrangement.

He has also reiterated his promise to back his chain of restaurants "in the event of any severe downturn".

He is hoping cooking schools can drive a turnaround. The celebrity chef has opened his first Gordon Ramsay Academy in Woking, Surrey, and sees the enterprise "as a scalable asset both in the UK and internationally”. He is eying Asia and America for possible expansion, according to accounts filed this week.

The first school opened in September 2021 and provides classes ranging from knife skills to pastry and Indian cooking, at a cost of up to £190 per person.

Rival chef Jamie Oliver, whose estimated worth stands at more than £200m, put forward £13m of his own money to support his Italian restaurant chain before its demise in 2019.

Mr Oliver said he had "no more money" to plough into the chain as it collapsed under a £71.5m debt pile in 2019.

Mr Oliver later clawed back millions from the collapse even as suppliers shouldered heavy losses. A recent report from restructuring advisers Interpath revealed his holding company has now received a total payment of £2.4m from the insolvency process.

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