Acclaimed chef Marcus Wareing admits he harbours grave concerns over how to deal with social distancing in kitchens as he expressed his fears for the industry’s future following Boris Johnson’s address to the nation.
Some hospitality businesses could open in July at the earliest, according to the prime minister’s speech last night, but it remains to be seen how viable it will be for restaurants to operate under increased safety measures.
In an interview with Sky News, Mr Wareing said he feared for what lies ahead after hearing Mr Johnson’s address.
“I thought it was a perfect opportunity to give us a little bit more meat on the bone, it would have been nice to have a bit more from him about the big picture. I am incredibly nervous about the future, I have no clue how to deal with social distancing in a kitchen or in hospitality.
“For me and my colleagues in the industry, we need some guidelines and we need it soon. We can’t sit at home just hoping we may get some titbits of information to show us how to go forward.
“We are very concerned – we were the first to close down and we’re going to be the last to reopen. I’m worried for my own health and my staff and customers, it’s really a scary thing to think we’re going to have to go to work in a kitchen which is very much an open playing field where staff are very much a team, they’re connecting with each other, they’re tasting food.
“You’re putting food on a plate which gets carried by a waiter and that food is then put in front of the customer. Social distancing does not work in hospitality.”
Mr Wareing, who is chef patron at Marcus in London, said restaurants work on very small margins and if social distancing meant opening up with 50% capacity or less it would be extremely difficult to survive.
He also called on the government to “take on some leaders of our industry, get them into government, we need to talk about how we can move forward”.
“My industry wants to go back to work, we can do this, but we need clear guidelines and it needs to come from above,” Mr Waring told Sky.