What Gordon Ramsay did when his restaurants closed
Q: How has the restaurant business been for you with everything being closed?
A: You know, tough … as you can imagine with just under 40 restaurants globally. We never saw this coming. So fingers crossed, we’re weeks away from reopening. What we’ve done in the meantime is to redevelop all our menus, reposition the dining rooms with more adequate space, remove 35 percent of the tables in the dining room, become a lot more sort of personal with less descriptions and just making these menus a little bit more fruitful. And as always, in the starting gates and raring to go.
But we will get through this. There’s no two ways about that and there’s already hundreds of emails: “When are you opening?” “Can we be the first?” “We can’t wait to get out of the house.” So there will be a need to get back to that amazing level of eating. I just can’t wait for it to happen sooner than later.
Q: When you look at how many other businesses are affected by restaurants, you realize that’s a lot of people.
A: Top of the food chain. There are producers and that level of hospitality, whether it’s the service, the busboys, the busgirls and the suppliers, so we’ve got to get back – and we will do it. So it’s about holding your nerves, restoring confidence and reassuring staff. But it’s the first time in my career secretly I’ve ever had to say, “Stop.” So I had a whale of a time. The last four weeks for me have been one of the most sort of exciting and emotional months in my entire career because I’ve never, ever, ever woken up from 30 days on the trots and thought, “S…! I’ve got nothing to do.”
George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.