Gordon Ramsay has spoken about the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on his trade – which includes having to cancel more than 22,000 bookings in December.
The celebrity chef who owns properties in Cornwall – where he spent the first Covid lockdown with his family – is one of the guests on tonight’s (February 19) Graham Norton Show on BBC One alongside actors Hugh Bonneville and Rosamund Pike and former rugby star Gareth Thomas.
The Mirror and Mail Online report that Ramsay, who is going on the programme to promote his new quiz show Bank Balance, also discussed how severe the pandemic has been on the hospitality industry as many restaurants have been unable to open as normal. Read about how and why Ramsay demanded a gold James Bond set for his new gameshow here.
Speaking about the toll coronavirus has had on his business, the Hell’s Kitchen star revealed he ended up having to cancel a monumental number of reservations during December.
Ramsay said: “It’s devastating. When you think about breaking bread and having fun with friends and family, it’s just tragic not to have that.
“When we reopened last July, the atmosphere was monumental and electrifying, we didn’t even need music, so to be shut backdown was tough.
“In December, our most important month, we cancelled 22-and-a-half thousand reservations, but I have always been optimistic.”
Saying he believes we will come out the other side of the crisis, Ramsay added that the new elements of reinvention will see the venues open up as “new restaurants”.
He also said that he hopes they will get to re-open the sites at Easter.
Ramsay recently joked that he was most looking forward to seeing his ‘f***ing neighbours’ in Cornwall when lockdown restrictions are eased.
There was anger among locals when Gordon and his family decided to spend the first lockdown at their £4 million home at Daymer Bay.
He was also seen in Fowey, where he has another property, and Port Isaac. He sparked further outrage with a 60-mile bike ride around Cornwall, long family walks and social media posts about the beautiful landscape.
He was also on the receiving end of a ticking off from the coastguard.
At the time, Ramsay hit back at critics, saying there were no rules against going on an extended bike ride.
The Graham Norton Show is on BBC One at 10.45pm.