Michel Roux Jr has publically apologised for underpaying his staff at his two Michelin star restaurant Le Gavroche in London.
As we reported back in November, several former chefs from the restaurant in Mayfair told The Guardian that they were routinely working close to 70 hours a week for as little as the equivalent of £5.50 an hour – below the UK legal minimum.
Speaking to The Caterer, Roux Jr said: “The buck stops with me and I take responsibility for ballsing up on this particular front. I am embarrassed and I am sorry for it but in no way was it done intentionally.”
The chef says a number of staffing issues contributed to the increase in working hours, but that the restaurant would be introducing a maximum 50-hour week from early next year, having already conducted a pay review that has seen some wages increase.
“The benefits of working at Le Gavroche and working for the Roux family are incredible,” says Roux Jr, “but they are intangible. You can’t put a worth on it. You can’t put it on your payslip. I am not using that as an excuse and I never would.”