The effects of the recession are beginning to affect high profile chefs, as Antony Worrall Thompson (AWT) announces the closure of his Berkshire pub, The Greyhound.
Blaming ‘high rents combined with a decline in footfall’ as the main reason for The Greyhound’s closure, AWT has become the first television chef to close an establishment during this recession.
In a statement, AWT said: “The difficult economic climate has made it necessary to take strategic action now to consolidate our business. This closure is regrettably an inevitable part of this process.
“We are deeply saddened to have to take this action and our first thoughts are with the staff, all of whom have worked so hard to make The Greyhound an enjoyable place to meet, drink and eat.”
AWT’s empire of restaurants are now whittled down to five, the Notting Grill, Kew Grill, Barnes Grill, The Lamb and the Windsor Grill, and although he admits the secret to his empire’s success is keeping costly staff members to a minimum, he told BBC Berkshire he had spread himself too thin.
“The owner/operator or a husband-and-wife team in a pub like that could probably survive, but when you`re running a group of restaurants with expensive chefs and expensive managers, then it makes it incredibly hard. And we suffer. Just because I`m a TV celebrity it doesn`t mean you`re doing any better than anyone else.”