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Michelin-starred Hibiscus cuts opening hours to improve staff work-life balance

By Sophie Witts , 07-Jan-2016
Last updated on 07-Jan-2016 at 12:12 GMT2016-01-07T12:12:35Z

Michelin-starred Hibiscus cuts opening hours to improve staff work-life balance

Claude Bosi has announced that his two Michelin-starred restaurant Hibiscus has cut its opening hours in order to improve staff quality of life.

The Mayfair restaurant has scrapped two lunch services – on Tuesday and Wednesday – and is now open for lunch on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.

The chef has also altered the evening menu to a choice of just two tasting menus at £135 per head – the Surprise (a constantly changing chefs choice) and the Classic (a selection of the restaurant’s ‘greatest hits’).

Bosi said the changes would give staff a total of three days off per week to help them remain ‘fresh and focused’.

“I want to have one very strong team in the restaurant – both front of house and in the kitchen – so shortening the work week, and our opening hours, is the best solution,” said Bosi.

“It will make everyone even more focussed, especially since we are also moving to just tasting menus at dinner. Hibiscus is a very busy restaurant, and it’s a demanding service.

“It's also a question of quality of life – [staff] need a breather from work to refresh and prepare for the challenges of restaurant life.”

Hibiscus joins a growing number of restaurants cutting opening hours as a means of improving staff work-life balance and boosting chef creativity in the past year.

Michel Roux Jr has switched Le Gavroche to a five-day week in order to trial new pop-up dining experiences and allow its team to take more time away from work.

James Close at The Raby Hunt in Darlington scrapped weekday lunch service in October after claiming the workload had become ‘demotivating’ for staff.

Meanwhile Sat Bains has switched his Michelin-starred Nottingham restaurant with rooms to a four-day week. The chef told BigHospitality that while he expected the change would lose the restaurant over £100,000 he was prepared to take the risk to improve staff retention.

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