Licensee of the Railway Inn in Rodley, Christopher Gill, made the difficult decision to let the pub’s chef go and permanently close the kitchen after the venue’s electricity quote soared from some £800 or £900 to around £5,500 per month.
Gill said: “We made slight adjustments in the kitchen to try and save energy, but then this year [the cost is] going up to 64p kWh.
“I looked at the cost of [the kitchen] and I know how much it takes during the winter, and it does drop down.
“Because of the price going up and what I could save on wages, and with some staff going away to university and thigs like that, I felt it was the right time to do it.”
While the licensee explained the business could lose some trade by taking away the food offering, this would be offset by how much the pub would save on energy and the cost of running the kitchen on top of increasing food prices.
However, Gill, who has been running the Railway Inn for the past two years, said customers would be welcome to order takeaway food to the pub to accompany their drinks.
The pub bid farewell to chef Garth, who had been working at the pub since Gill took over, in a Facebook post at the end of the last month, wishing him all the best in his future endeavours following the “tough decisions”.
Gill added: “I’m hoping it will balance out in my favour so I can keep the pub open and keep the present staff on.
“I’ll have to just cut my cloth accordingly and see what happens.”
Terrifying price increases
This comes as chef and businesses owner Tom Kerridge yesterday (Tuesday 6 September) called for an energy price cap for businesses and branded advice from political figureheads regarding coping with rising energy costs “disgusting”.
He said: “The problem with businesses is they don’t have a price cap on them. We have price caps coming on domestic electricity use but there’s still 100% to 200% price increases and that’s terrifying.
“We need a price cap on business energy and we also need a reduction in VAT because there is no point in giving a tax break to businesses that then comes out of the back end.
“There’s no point in corporation tax reduction because corporation tax is only payable if you make a profit. Many of these businesses are not going to be open, let alone making a profit.”