Michelin star chef introduces four-day week to ‘fuel the team’s creative flare’

The restaurant owner believes that a four-day week will benefit the work-life balance of his employees

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 17 October 2018 18:13 BST
Paul Kitching, owner of the Michelin starred 21212 restaurant in Edinburgh
Paul Kitching, owner of the Michelin starred 21212 restaurant in Edinburgh

A chef who owns a Michelin starred restaurant says he’s going to be introducing a four-day week for his staff without decreasing their salaries.

Paul Kitching, who opened the 21212 restaurant in Edinburgh in 2009 with his partner Katie O’Brien, believes that reducing the number of days his employees spend at work every week will be beneficial for their work-life balance.

He explains how the decision will help to “fuel the team’s creative flare” and enable them to “produce dishes better than ever before.”

“This is a tough industry and we thrive on the energy and passion behind our chefs,” he says.

“We are about constant innovation and re-invention of dishes and the creativity needed for this is incredibly important.

“We believe that by reducing our days that this creativity will grow and we will be able to push our menu and dishes to another level.”

The 21212 restaurant, which is located at 3 Royal Terrace in Edinburgh, was awarded a Michelin star one year after opening.

The restaurant has since retained its Michelin star accolade for nine years in a row.

When Kitching introduces the four-day working week for his staff next month, the restaurant will open its doors every week from Wednesday until Saturday.

However, the restaurant’s hotel, which boasts four luxury bedrooms, will be available for guests to stay in every day of the week.

Paul Kitching with his staff in the 21212 restaurant in Edinburgh

“This change comes at a brilliant time for us as we have just received our Michelin star for the ninth consecutive year,” Kitching says.

“Reducing our days to four is by no means a way of scaling back, but a way for us to improve and grow further as we reach our tenth year on the Royal Terrace.”

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Earlier this year, a company in New Zealand that trialled a four-day week had such successful results that the boss stated that he wanted to make the change permanent.

“What we’ve seen is a massive increase in engagement and staff satisfaction about the work they do, a massive increase in staff intention to continue to work with the company and we’ve seen no drop in productivity,” Andrew Barnes, chief executive of Perpetual Guardian, told the New Zealand Herald.

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