After the global financial crisis in , the plush eatery found its banker and lawyer clientele spent and lunched less. And since Britain voted to leave the European Union last year, owner Soren Jessen - a former banker - says the mood has soured again, with breakfasts now more popular for meetings.
But what concerns Jessen most about Brexit is being able to find enough people to cook for and serve his customers - all but three of his 60 staff come from outside Britain. Reuters has created a Brexit tracker that monitors six indicators, including restaurant and bar licence applications, to help assess the fortunes of "the City" as Brexit talks progress. For a graphic, click here: The first edition of the tracker shows signs of a slowdown rather than any transformative decline. And the number of venues applying for licences to sell alcohol in the City of London actually hit a record high in the first eight months of the year.
City officials say this is partly because the area's night life has diversified and no longer only caters for the expense account lunches of financial services sector workers.
Jessen says that his restaurant continues to do good trade, but he is worried about the fate of his staff. The main, immediate fear to us is employing the right staff. Immigration and future immigration policy is going to be hugely important for us, and we lack some direction and guidance on that.
The British hospitality sector is an enormous employer. I think we employ, as a sector, three million people and it's unclear whether we'll be able to do that in the future. We need to employ whoever is best for the job, wherever they come from. Hopefully it's from the UK, but if it isn't, we need to be able to employ them from wherever they come from.
There's not much we can do. Of course, longer-term, this is what the government is talking about and encouraging everyone to do - we need to train up staff, so the U. Even so, the sector cannot train enough people to fill up those jobs in five years time down the road. And immediately we have seen a shortage of people applying The immediate impact has been much fewer CVs coming through. We have maybe as little as 20 percent of what we used to get a year ago or more, and there was already a shortage.
It's difficult to attract people to the industry as a whole, and with fewer people coming from abroad it's going to be near impossible. Brexit hasn't affected that. The financial crisis did - we had an immediate impact back then five or six years ago. The average spend dropped.
That's come back slowly, not quite to where it was, but it's a new norm and it's probably quite stable at the moment. There has been a change in peoples' behaviour. Lunchtime is probably a little bit more about getting back to the office. Breakfast is hugely up as a chosen way of having business meetings.
Will people wanting to go into the restaurant business now wait and see how the Brexit negotiations pan out? There is definitely a wait-and-see approach.
I know from myself I am opening two new restaurants next year. It's been long coming and a long wait to get the right sites. But I can feel that a lot of people are holding back if they can and if they haven't got the plans in the pipeline, just to wait and see. Make Kitco Your Homepage. Latest Press Releases Appointment Notices. Real-time gold scrap value calculator for professionals. Gold Silver Platinum Palladium. Currency Converter Currency Cross Rates. Real-time gold scrap value calculator for professionals iPhone Android Web.
Calculate precious metal dimensions, weights and purity iPhone Blackberry Android. Brexit and the City: View from the dining room. Reuters Monday November 20, 4: Kitco News Share this article: What is your biggest fear about Britain leaving the European Union?
Can you take steps to protect your business? What impact are you already seeing on your business? Has Brexit affected the amount the average customer spends on their bill? Can you tell us about any other changes you've seen? The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc.
This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Data workers prove a rare resource for Barrick, fellow miners Dec 6, China's yuan nudges higher against weaker dollar Dec 6, Silver Struggles Continue Dec 5, We appreciate your feedback.
Visit Kitco Mobile Apps. How can we help you?More...