Thursday 19 September 2019

Case study: 'I've buried my head in the sand... it's like a bad dream'

Brexit case study: Robin Gill and his wife Sarah
Brexit case study: Robin Gill and his wife Sarah

Mícheál Ó Scannáil and Aoife Walsh

An award-winning Irish chef working in Britain has described Brexit as a bad dream he hopes will go away.

Robin Gill, from Dublin, has worked under head chefs of the calibre of Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc.

He was recently voted Chef of The Year and, along with his wife Sarah, runs four of the hottest restaurants in the English capital - and is currently opening a fifth.

The 'MasterChef' judge said in 2016 he feared Brexit could have serious financial ramifications for his business, and the hospitality industry in general.

He admitted taking Brexit lightly before the results of the referendum, but three years on, he said that his industry has seen a "definite downturn".

"It's the uncertainty, it's not knowing what's going on. To be honest, I've been just burying my head in the sand," he said. "It's like a bad dream that you just hope is going to go away, that you'll wake up and it's gone."

Mr Gill said he was shocked Brexit was passed.

"I didn't know much about it and that's the thing; a lot of people didn't understand what it means or what is going to happen.

"I just didn't think too much of it, and thought 'well it's not going to happen, is it?' And then when it did, I was just in utter shock," he said.

He said there has been a lot of uncertainty, which has caused issues for business.

"Things are expensive. Speaking from my crowd, which is the restaurant and hospitality sector, there has definitely been a drop-off.

"I've seen some casualties and I feel that people are just being that bit more cautious with their money.

"There's not that big spending going on."

Irish Independent

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