An award-winning restaurant has reduced its opening hours in a bid to improve staff quality of life.
Hibiscus, a two Michelin-starred establishment run by chef Claude Bosi, has reduced its lunch services from five days to three days a week.
Lunch now runs from Thursday to Saturday whilst dinner runs from Tuesday to Saturday, giving staff a total of three days off per week. Bosi hopes this will help them to remain “fresh and focused”.
Speaking to catering industry website BigHospitality, Bosi said: “I want to have one very strong team in the restaurant – both front of house and in the kitchen – so shortening the working week, and our opening hours, is the best solution.”
“It will make everyone even more focussed… Hibiscus is a very busy restaurant, and it’s a demanding service.”
“It’s also a question of quality of life – [staff] need a breather from work to refresh and prepare for the challenges of restaurant life.”
The restaurant industry is famous for high-pressure work environments. Yet Hibiscus is the latest in a growing number of establishments taking steps to offer staff a healthier work-life balance.
Le Gavroche, the restaurant owned by former Masterchef presenter Michel Roux Jr, has changed to a five-day week to allow staff more time away from the kitchen. Meanwhile Sat Bains has changed his Michelin-star establishment ‘Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms’ to a four-day week.
Bains said that while this would lose the restaurant over £100,000, it was worth it to improve staff retention.
These establishments are the latest to start experimenting with shorter working hours. Even more drastically, the entire Swedish town of Gothenburg recently trialled a six hour working day, which it deemed to be a success.
Changing your hours of business to improve your employee’s quality of life may not be ideal for your business, but with the rise of passive recruitment and the oft-reported skills shortage, it may be worth considering what you can do to help retain your best talent.