Michel Roux Jr’s London restaurant Le Gavroche has pledged to increase the salaries of some members of staff, following a revelation in a newspaper that they were being paid less than the minimum wage.
The restaurant has made the announcement following an investigation by a newspaper, which found that some kitchen staff were being paid less than the legal minimum.
The paper said that earnings for some salaried kitchen staff worked out as low as £5.50 an hour, below the £7.20 National Living Wage introduced in April this year, due to the number of hours they worked.
Unnamed sources quoted by the paper claimed that they routinely worked between 62 and 68 hours per week for about £375 before tax.
A year ago, the two-Michelin-starred restaurant announced it was to change to a five-day week, down from six days, with a view to improve staff work-life balance and help the site offer new pop-ups.
The restaurant now closes to the public on Mondays while still being open for private dining and corporate hire.
In a statement in response to the story, a spokesperson for the restaurant said that in addition to increasing the salaries of those employees working longer hours than anticipated, it would also work to reduce the maximum working hours for all employees to 50 hours a week.
The statement read: “Michel Roux Jr has stated that it is his continued stance to reduce the number of hours that front of house, chefs and kitchen staff work.
“To this end, Le Gavroche announced earlier this year that the restaurant would be closed all day Monday, as well as being closed Saturday lunchtime, and all day Sunday. This was introduced to improve the working conditions for all staff members.
“Le Gavroche will again lead the industry with its future plans, which will be implemented by next March to increase even further the amount of time off enjoyed by all restaurant employees.
“This will reduce the maximum estimated working hours for all to 50 hours a week; of course not all staff work to the maximum. All salaries will be maintained at the current level despite less hours being worked.
“Le Gavroche will implement this through closing the restaurant for lunch on Tuesdays, and taking last orders for dinner at 9.30pm.
“Le Gavroche has recently undertaken one of its regular detailed salary reviews, which revealed that a few members of staff were working longer hours than anticipated, and the restaurant is increasing salaries for those staff with immediate effect to ensure that the entire staff is now earning the minimum wage or more for their age.
“All Le Gavroche staff, front of house and kitchen, share in the 13% discretionary service charge.”