Michel Roux Jr has said there will always be high-end restaurants "because we will always have those special occasions" when we want to be pampered.
Speaking on Monday at a webcast panel organised by RA Group entitled The Future of Hospitality, he said: "Do I still want to go to a [high-end] place like Le Gavroche or Alain Ducasse? Yes, I do – of course I want to spoil myself."
The celebrity chef said what he was missing most was "the buzz, the conviviality and the socialising" that hospitality offered but was optimistic it would return. "We will pull through – not all of us will – and we will be stronger for it because we are a resilient bunch," he added.
As for the future of tasting menus, Pollen Street Social's Jason Atherton said he hoped they would survive "because it's a really interesting and creative way to eat". However, he said the next 12 months would be "very tricky" for fine dining restaurants as it would take time for people to feel confident spending several hours in a restaurant.
"My optimistic head says people are desperate to get back out there and willing to get back into restaurants. I think fine dining restaurants will always exist in some shape or form." He concluded that top restaurants offering a la carte as well as tasting menus might get a "bigger response to start with".
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall believed there would be a "great appetite" for the public to get back out there and enjoy themselves, "so we've got to be ready to be creative, adaptable and flexible".
For a full report of the webcast see next week's issue.
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