‘No Pizzas After Brexit’, Warns Restaurant Chain Boss
David Page, the Chairman of pizza chain Franco Manco (see above), today claimed in the Financial Times that UK consumers may have to cope without their favourite fix of carbohydrate after the UK leaves the European Union. This is, says Page, because Brexit is ‘already affecting the availability of skilled European restaurant staff’.
Brexit hasn’t appeared to hit the company’s bottom line, however. Revenue of the chain’s parent company was up 41 per cent to £41.2 million. Profits were up by 170 per cent. Moreover, the firm has managed to open 13 new restaurants during the past year.
If the chain is finding that the supply of fully-trained pizza chefs is drying up then it is isn’t all that surprising. You can barely turn a corner in London without finding another pizza restaurant. They are not all going to survive, and it is no use trying to blame Brexit when they fail.
There was a time was when restaurants would take on staff and then train them up. However, now they seem more interested in swooping for staff who have already been trained at someone elses expense. Why go through the motions of teaching an unemployed Brit how to make dough when you can poach an Italian who has learned his trade in the backstreets of Naples?
If Franco Manca is finding it harder to recruit staff it does, of course, have an option: spend a bit more of those profits on training. And maybe pay some higher wages. As yet, the market for labour from other parts of the EU remains fully-open, and it will almost certainly remain pretty open after Brexit, too. If Franco Manco is suffering recruitment problems in the current market they should look to reasons other than Brexit for the answers.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com