‘The c**p’s gone’ Gordon Ramsay delighted Covid wiped out ‘s***hole’ restaurants

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Gordon Ramsay, 55, confessed that although the Covid pandemic was “devastating” for the restaurant industry, he is pleased that it “wiped the slate clean” and abolished low-quality eateries which were “taking advantage of good locations”.

He added that the industry has been forced to “raise its game” because customers have become more knowledgeable about food.

The Future Food Stars host revealed all when he was asked how the restauranting business is doing now.

He told Radio Times: “The business was on it’s a***… It’s been devastating the last two years. Landlords don’t say, ‘Take a holiday for two years’.

“But I think what has been evident for all of us is, the c**p’s gone.

“S***holes in a prime position, taking advantage because they’re in a great location and they’ve got the footfall.

“But now we’ve wiped the slate clean, which is good… It’s wiped the arrogance from the industry.”

Thousands of jobs were lost due to lockdowns and hundreds of restaurant chains, including Pizza Express, Zizzi and Bella Italia, closed sites for good.

Gordon admitted his restaurant empire suffered devastating losses of almost £60m.

He was particularly badly hit in December 2020 when restrictions were reimposed, and he had “£10m worth of reservations wiped out overnight”.

Speaking to The Sun in February last year, the Michelin-starred chef sighed: “Lockdowns have caused utter devastation…There have been so many tears, people at their wits’ end.

“In December we had £10m worth of reservations wiped out overnight, and as of March 19 last year to February 3 this year we’ve suffered £57.5m of turnover down.”

Luckily for Gordon, he was able to keep his businesses afloat and has recently opened a new Bread Street Kitchen & Bar in the former Liverpool location of Jamie’s Italian, which closed in 2019.

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Speaking to the Liverpool Echo at the opening last month, Gordon assured it was “never his intention” to take over his former nemesis Jamie’s site, but added: “Where Jamie failed, is a big learning curve for all of us.”

It comes as Gordon is launching his brand-new TV show, Future Food Stars.

The Apprentice-style series aims to discover the best food and drink entrepreneur who will receive a whopping £150,000 investment from Gordon’s own pocket.

According to the show’s synopsis: “Gordon will push everyone to their limits through a series of relentless challenges that tests their character and business acumen.

“The person who impresses him most will win a life-changing investment.”

In a teaser of what is to come, contestants can be seen jumping from helicopters, off cliffs and struggling to cope in high-pressure kitchens.

Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars kicks off on BBC One next Thursday.

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