Michelin-starred restaurants are following in the footsteps of major retailers by offering staff free meals in order to help them cope with soaring bills this winter.
Pied a Terre, London’s longest-standing Michelin-starred restaurant, has added a note to staff payslips saying that they can take leftover food home at the end of the day and are welcome to come into the restaurant on their days off for free meals.
David Moore, who owns the restaurant, said it was important to offer extra support this winter because workers “don’t want to be seen to be needing it” and he doesn’t see the cost-of-living-crisis going away anytime soon.
Another Michelin-starred restaurant, which does not want to be named, is weighing up whether to introduce an “emergency larder” for any staff struggling with their food shopping.
The decisions come as Britain suffers the worst inflation crisis in 40 years, with the country battling an income squeeze driven by rising food and energy bills.
Major retailers have responded by putting up free hot meals, with John Lewis and Waitrose offering free meals to workers over the Christmas period in an effort to attract staff and support squeezed households with the mounting cost of living.
The employee-owned company said last month that it would offer English breakfasts and Sunday roasts between Oct 3 to Jan 6 to staff in shops and distribution centres, including any of its agency workers.
Sainsbury’s also announced a £25m investment in what it called a “cost of living support package” for hourly paid colleagues last week to support them with rising household costs, which will give staff access to basic food items during shifts from October until next year.
“The free food will ensure that colleagues can have something to eat while they are at work,” the supermarket giant said.