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Gordon Ramsay says lockdowns got rid of all the ‘s**thole’ restaurants

Chef Gordon Ramsay isn’t known for mincing his words, and in a recent interview that touched on the “devastating” impact of Covid on the hospitality industry he said the upside is the pandemic “wiped the slate clean” of “crap” restaurants.

Gordon Ramsay on lockdowns and restaurant industry
Credit: Instagram/ Gordon Ramsay

In a Radio Times interview with former Shadow Chancellor and esoteric tweeter Ed Balls to promote his new BBC One show, Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars, the decorated chef took “s**thole’ restaurants to task, claiming it was a good thing that they had been wiped out by rolling lockdowns.

He told the publication that the pandemic had taught those working in the industry to “raise their game”. The incredible struggles of the hospitality industry over the last two years has been well documented, not least by db.

While independent venues certainly disproportionately bore the brunt of the bruising effect of lockdowns, several major restaurant chains such as Zizzi, Ask, Carluccio’s and Pizza Express also shut locations for good amid the pandemic.

Commenting on the return to business in the wake of lockdowns, Ramsay told Ed Balls, “The business was on its arse, but it’s getting better … It’s been devastating the last two years. Landlords don’t say, ‘Take a holiday for two years’. But I think what has been evident for all of us is the crap’s gone.”

When asked if he was referencing the closures of specific chains, the chef said, “well, just shitholes in a prime position and taking advantage because they’re in a great location, and they’ve got the footfall. But now we’ve wiped the slate clean, which is good.”

Referencing the rising demand of luxury and high end produce (a trend mirrored in the wine and spirits industries) during the pandemic, Ramsay added, “Customers have got so much smarter in the last two years. They know a lot more about food than they ever have done and have been making their own sourdough, so it’s taught everyone [in the restaurant industry] to raise their game … It’s wiped the arrogance from the industry.”

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