Chef Gordon Ramsay has revealed the pandemic has cost his restaurant empire a staggering £55m in turnover.
Ramsay, who owns 35 restaurants worldwide, told The Sun the three lockdowns in the UK have caused “utter devastation.”
Ramsay, 54, currently has 18 restaurants across London and plans to open five more in 2021. The hospitality industry has been the hardest hit by the pandemic, with restaurants, bars and cafes having to stick to a 10 p.m. curfew at times, or shut altogether.
He said: “Lockdowns have caused utter devastation. When covid first hit, we all thought it would be over and done within a couple of weeks. But it’s been long-haul.” Ramsay said he was forced to take up the government’s furlough scheme in a bid to save hundreds of jobs nationwide. He said: “It’s been so hard to keep youngsters motivated, and I do feel under pressure to give my younger members of staff, especially, some hope, and the sense that we can get out of this.
There have been so many tears, people at their wits’ end.” Despite using the furlough scheme, Ramsay said he had still taken a hit on his own bank balance after opening three new restaurants last year. He said: “Since 1998, when I started, I have always put my money back into the business.
I’ve never been greedy, I’ve always been very, very generous. I get criticised for being wealthy, but the responsibility on my shoulders – the livelihoods at stake – is huge. I feel that pressure enormously, and the impact of all this has been devastating and incredibly costly.”