Restaurant pulls £9 an hour waiter job that had 947 applicants due to Covid curfew


A RESTAURANT has been forced to pull a waiter job on minimum wage that had 947 applicants due to coronavirus restrictions.

Peru Perdu, a Peruvian restaurant in Manchester, advertised for the role paying up to £8.72 an hour after doing well from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Peru Perdu, a Peruvian restaurant in Manchester, had to withdraw the role due to the 10pm curfew on the hospitality industry

Featuring on Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, the restaurant had received 320 applications within four days.

But shortly after, the government announced the 10pm curfew for the hospitality industry and the position had to be withdrawn.

At this point, it’d already received 947 applicants and had narrowed it down to two candidates.

The story speaks volumes about the UK’s jobs crisis for the hospitality sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Restaurant chains including Pizza Express and Gourmet Burger Kitchen are among those that have had to shed staff due to coronavirus restrictions.

The situation is also set to get worse, with all restaurants and pubs being forced to shut once again from this Thursday, November 5, in a second lockdown – although they can still do takeaway and delivery.

Speaking on the show, which will be broadcast at 8pm tonight, the restaurant’s recruitment consultant Abi Dunn, said: “Normally we would have between 20 and 30 for a role like this.

“I’m shocked … and it’s a real indication of where the sector is at. We’re recruiting in different times.”

Abi Dunn, the restaurant’s recruitment consultant, said she was shocked to receive almost 1,000 applications for the waiter role

The applicants included Jake, a former hotel manager, who said: “I thought it would be easier with a degree and ten years of experience, but it has been a struggle.

“I probably only have one-and-a-half month’s rent left in the bank account.

“That would only take me through November.”

Meanwhile, a second applicant named John, a 51-year-old ticket inspector who lost his job in March alongside his husband, said they’ve applied for 2,000 jobs since then.

Jake, a former hotel manager, has only one-and-a-half month’s rent in his bank account

While former ticket inspector John and his husband have applied for 2,000 roles since losing their jobs in March

He told Dispatches: “We’ve burnt through all our savings. It’s a toss-up between do we get gas and electric or do we get food?

“And even if I do get food, if we’ve got no gas, I can’t cook it.”

Six weeks after the Peru Perdu job advert went out, Dispatches contacted everyone who had applied for the job.

Among those who replied, four out of five were still out of work.

It comes as the latest quarterly unemployment rate hit 4.5% for June to August – up 0.4% on the previous three months, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This equates to 1.5million people out of work, although the figure is now likely to be even higher.

Unions and and employers have warned that the planned end of the furlough scheme on Saturday, now postponed, prompted many companies to make cuts in September and early October.

The furlough scheme has been extended until December due to the second national lockdown – we explain all you need to know.

Meanwhile, the replacement Job Support Scheme has been postponed for when furlough ends.

A few months ago, a think tank warned that there’ll be more than two million people out of work by Christmas unless the government acts.