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Staff shortages see UK restaurants struggle to cope with Christmas season

Businesses are having to turn down bookings as employee numbers remain low following the pandemic and Brexit

Turning down party bookings over the Christmas period is the last thing a restaurant owner wants to do. But that is the harsh reality for the Rattle Owl, an independent restaurant featured in the Michelin Guide, which, like the vast majority of hospitality businesses, is suffering a shortage of staff and having to make compromises.

“We used to be able to do 26 (people for a Christmas party booking) but we absolutely can’t do that now. The max we can do now is 10,” said the York restaurant’s owner, Clarrie O’Callaghan.

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