Two Popular Restaurants Close Citing Utilities Costs  

Two popular city-centre restaurants have announced their closure this week, with both citing the increase in utilities costs as a contributing factor.

French restaurant Bouchon announced their closure today on social media, with owners Red & Blue Restaurants reassuring customers who had made bookings that they would be accommodated at one of their other venues in the city.

“We’ve unfortunately had to make a difficult decision to close Bouchon from today. Despite it being a great restaurant, with a great family in the staff and also the costumers, the headwinds of inflation and the robber barons at the utility companies have made it financially unsustainable to stay open.

Fortunately, we’ve been able to offer all our colleagues jobs in our other sites in Liverpool… Thank you to everyone who has dined and supported us over the last two years.”

This announcement comes just days after popular Chinese-inspired fine dining concept LuBan confirmed that they would also be closing their doors permanently.

“We regret to inform our customers that, after careful considerations, we have made the decision to permanently close LuBan Restaurant. The closure was not a decision we have taken lightly, but was necessary due to a combination of factors.

The ongoing cost of living crisis has reduced footfall to what was always a niche concept. This coupled with increasing financial pressures and utility costs has rendered the business unsustainable.”

Earlier this year, five organisations representing the UK hospitality sector joined forces to write to the Government calling for urgent action on energy prices. The British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality, Night-Time Industries Association, Music Venue Trust and The British Institute of Innkeeping jointly said rocketing costs were ‘becoming a matter of existential emergency’ with claims that an average restaurant energy bill has increased by as much as 300 per cent over the last 2 years.

If you’re wondering how much the average restaurant pays in utilities, last August Chef Gary Usher (who’s restaurants include Hispi, Kala, Burnt Truffle and Wreckfish) revealed on Twitter that he’d ignored an energy bill for one of his sites, assuming it was sent in error.

“We got an electric bill a few weeks ago for our unit in Chester. Kind of ignored it because we just assumed it was a misprint, like too many zeros or something… It’s not. Our electric bill for the quarter at our events unit is 26 thousand pounds.”

With utilities rising and the general public still being squeezed by the cost of living crisis it will be a difficult winter for many in the industry, making further closures inevitable without Government intervention or support.

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