Chef Chris Galvin has said the hospitality industry will come back stronger from 2020 and be prepared to overcome Brexit-related challenges "like a hurdle" next year.
The Galvin Restaurants chef-patron was speaking during an online industry forum run by Le Cordon Bleu London and COREcruitment yesterday (4 November).
When asked about the potential recruitment issues faced by the sector when freedom of movement ends on 31 December, he said: "Brexit is going to be another challenge but I think there's positivity to be gained.
"For the last four years [since the vote] although we saw an astronomical growth in restaurants in London, there definitely wasn't enough talent to go around and there certainly weren't enough customers, there were too many empty seats.
"When a decision was made that we were going to leave [earlier this year]…I've talked to lots of restaurateurs about this, we saw green shoots everywhere as soon as confidence came back."
He added that Galvin Restaurants recently put out a job advert and had 100 applications for one chef de partie position.
"Before I'd be looking everywhere for someone to turn up to the interview. So I think there's going to be a lot of talent out there."
Galvin said that there were still opportunities available for hospitality entrepreneurs despite the challenging market, as landlords were "learning their lesson" about offering rents "that allow people in".
"Just this last week I've been contacted about three amazing opportunities, despite knowing lockdown was inevitable."
He added: "I'm not too worried [about Brexit], after what we've all gone through in 2020, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I think we'll come back very strong next year.
"What's come out of the Covid era is collaboration. I don't think I've ever spoken to so many chefs, sharing ideas and problems and how to overcome things. We'll find a way to get over Brexit."
Chris and his brother Jeff recently opened a new restaurant, Galvin Bistrot & Bar, next door to their Galvin La Chapelle site in London's Spitalfields.
The pair also run the Galvin at Windows restaurant overlooking Hyde Park and the Galvin Green Man pub in Chelmsford, Essex, which last year won the Pub and Bar Catey.