The Burlington Restaurant switches to four-day working week

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Burlington Restaurant switches to four-day working week

Related tags: Chef

The Burlington Restaurant at The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa has switched to a four-day working week ahead of the departure of head chef Paul Evans.

The pilot scheme will see the number of chefs in the three-AA-rosette restaurant’s brigade increase from 11 to 15, with the introduction of a new apprentice chef position.

Chefs now work a reduced 48 hours a week in straight shifts over four days, with no changes to their rate of pay.

The trial is currently limited to The Burlington, and does not include the hotel's one-AA-rosette Brasserie restaurant.

The changes are being funded by a £100,000 investment from the Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, which is owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

It comes ahead of the departure of Evans, who will leave the business later this month.

The chef joined The Burlington last July after working at the Michelin-starred Lords of the Manor hotel restaurant in the Cotswolds for four years.

The Devonshire Arms is currently searching for a replacement, and Evans is yet to announce his next move.

"For many years chefs have notoriously received a raw deal, working ridiculous hours for the love of the job was standard practice," says Adam Dyke, general manager of The Devonshire Arms.

"Smart operators are starting to recognise that action needs to be taken to address the balance."

A number of high-end restaurants, including The Raby Hunt​ and Sat Bains with Rooms​, have reduced their opening hours in the past two years in a bid to improve staff work/life balance.

Michel Roux Jr’s restaurant Le Gavroche limited maximum working hours​ for staff to 50 hours a week in March after a review found some employees were working ‘longer hours than expected’.

A recent study by trade union Unite​ found that 44% of London chefs worked over 48 hours a week, with 14% spending more than 60 hours a week in the kitchen.

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