Raymond Blanc may only shut down the restaurant of one couple who dream of running one every week on his TV show The Restaurant. But away from the world of reality TV the reality is looking far more harsh. Restaurants are going to be facing their toughest year since 1990 according to a recent survey. With the credit crunch taking a grip eating out is hitting high on people's list of economising.
The end result of course will be that our catering industry is looking likely to follow the retail trade in restaurants no longer being able to keep up with the lose of trade. Considering that retail companies have been going into administration or worse even during the run up to Christmas we can see what can happen. When you look at the names from the High Street from Woolies to Wedgewood you can also see that there may not be any guarantee for either end of the market it merely may come down to the overheads and whether these are met or not.
The sector is now tightening its belt and jobs and eateries across Scotland are starting to disappear and are expected to carry on doing so throughout the year. Maybe Gordon and Alistair should give us all vouchers to eat out at restaurants to give our restaurant owners an economic stimulus on the boil.
Some of the factors that are adding to the misery in Scotland are:
A need to thin out of the overly congested industry especially in Edinburgh.
An exodus of foreign chefs especially as salaries drop in comparison to the Euro wages offered elsewhere.
The reverse that good from Europe will be forcing prices up beyond which the price elasticity of the consumer can stomach.
Two thirds of people already stating they will be dinning out less this year.
Also post Hogmanay a growing number of restaurants are closing for an extended holiday in January and those staying open are not replacing staff lost through attrition.