TV chef Manu Feildel has revealed he never plans to run a restaurant again due to the dire state of Australia’s hospitality sector.
The My Kitchen Rules star made the comments as he prepares to swap his apron for a suit to impart words of wisdom to Sydney’s small business owners during a series of tours.
Among Feildel’s advice will be reflections on his own extensive experiences, including a recently affirmed decision never to run a restaurant again.
“I would never want to own a restaurant again,” he said.
“The thing is, three years ago when I first said this, the restaurant world was already tough.
“Now we’re talking about losing staff, we’re talking about increasing rent, we’re talking about increasing costs – vegetables, protein, everything goes up in price.”
Feildel said the chain’s widespread supply issues have forced owners to pass on price increases to their customers.
“People can’t afford to go to a restaurant for a while because it’s going to be more expensive and if the restaurant owners don’t but the price goes up, then there’s no margin,” a- he declared.
“So now the purpose of running a business in a restaurant is questionable.”
The famous French fan-favorite also opened up about how QR code technology, despite its merits, can lead to chaos for kitchen staff.
“Now you often see a QR code in the middle of the table to order, which is great, but that means customers send their own orders to the kitchen, but there’s no time limit,” said he declared.
“Heads can get up to 50 orders in a minute and it becomes a nightmare in the back, so there’s definitely a lot to sort out on that side too.”
Feildel said the pandemic’s border restrictions and widespread lockdowns have forced many foreign hospitality workers out of Australia.
“We don’t have the people to run restaurants and because of Covid we’ve lost I think 200,000 people in the industry in Australia,” he said.
“Half of them have gone home and half of them have decided to do something else because they have bills to pay and they have decided not to come back.
“You can’t run a business without people, but that’s not the solution either, because then there will be a lot of people without a lot of work.”
Feildel partners with My Business consultancy service for Sydney roadshows.
The TV star has made a name for himself by owning or working in restaurants such as Bilson’s and L’etoile in Sydney.
However, he changed course during the pandemic and launched his own line of sauces, By Manu.
The company has doubled its profits over the past two years.
Originally published as Dark reason for TV chef Manu Feildel’s career change