Fife Michelin Star restaurant The Cellar to adopt 4 day working week

Head chef and owner Billy Boyter announced the move on social media.

Published 6th Jul 2021
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The team at The Cellar, one of Fife's one Michelin Star restaurants, will move to a 4 day working week from January 2022.

In a post on his and the restaurant's social media, Billy wrote: "This is something I've been thinking about alot, before and during lockdown.

"Hospitality is a demanding but extremely rewarding and creative industry. But finding a healthy work/life balance is difficult as we all know.

"Our employees well-being is vital to the longevity of the restaurant. The sacrifices they make to ensure our guests have the best experience possible not only affects them, and how they live their lives but can also affect family life as well.

"That's why we've decided from January to move to a 4 day working week closing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday's.

"I know a lot of restaurants around the country already operate like this. I'm delighted that we can do the same."

On speaking to Billy, it was this preservation of staff well-being and appealing to upcoming talent that drove his decision to move to a shorter working week.

He said: "I spoke to other chefs who are working a 4 day week and I thought if we can afford to do it then we really should.

"It's really for the benefit of the staff, as we know the amount of work they do.

"There's alot of negativity around hospitality and especially towards Michelin Star restaurants and the working conditions and hours.

"I want to put a different spin on that and show that you can work in these places without working the hours that people think you do in order to cook good food."

The news comes in the same week that fellow Scottish chef Tom Kitchin is coming under fire for allegations of bullying and assault in his workplaces.

The timing, Billy said, is a coincidence, but he does feel strongly that the industry needs to move away from this type of behaviour in order to survive and attract new talent.

"I have a friend who is a chef lecturer, and he can see the drop off in the amount of young people coming into industry," said Billy.

"We have to try and make this a more attractive place for people to work. Or we're going to be facing problems in the future."

From January, the restaurant, which currently opens Wednesday - Saturday, will drop the Wednesday dinner service.

Billy explained: "At the moment we shut on a Monday and Tuesday, and we don't do lunch on a Wednesday as we use this as a prep day. So all we had to do really was drop Wednesday's dinner.

"To cover that we have to do an extra table of two each night. Which, when you step back and look at it like that then it's totally achievable. So why not?"

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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