Underused Sodexo restaurant at Scottish Parliament under threat from cuts

Underused Sodexo restaurant at Scottish Parliament under threat from cuts

The Sodexo-operated restaurant in the Scottish parliament faces closure because too few MSPs eat there to make it a going concern, it has been claimed.

The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body is said to be considering the closure of the taxpayer-subsidised fine-dining restaurant as part of plans to slash costs at Holyrood by 15% over the next four years.

The restaurant is the only part of the parliament's catering operations that runs at a loss, with the canteen and the bar breaking even, according to the Daily Telegraph.

One official close to the discussions described it as a desperate situation. He added: "The restaurant is a burden on the parliament's finances because nowhere near enough MSPs eat there."

But a Sodexo spokesperson said the restaurant was not under threat. "The article is based on speculation," she added. "The Scottish Parliament has not proposed any changes to the catering services that we provide."

Last month Sodexo was awarded a four-year extension to its catering contract with the Scottish Government worth in the region of £11.6m.

A spokesman from the Scottish Parliament confirmed that senior officials are in the process of examining all elements of the Corporate Body's expenditure in anticipation of significant public sector budget reductions.

"As the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body will consider options in the Autumn, it would be wrong to single out any one area at this stage, including the restaurant," he added.

Taxpayers subsidise the restaurant by around £90,000 a year, which is equivalent to £9 for each of the 9,861 dishes served last year.

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By Janie Stamford

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