'Just not sustainable': Trio of Norfolk venues scale back opening hours

The Ffolkes

The Ffolkes has changed its opening hours as a result of the pandemic, the decision lead by Tom Oakley (general manager) and Iain Wilson (owner - inset) - Credit: Archant

A group of high end restaurants across Norfolk have changed their opening hours due to staff shortages - saying they want to ensure quality for customers instead of stretching themselves too thin. 

The Ffolkes in King's Lynn has shut its kitchen on Friday and Saturday nights, instead focussing on their Street Feast offering which sees vendors pitch up in the pub's event area. 

The Pigs at Melton Constable has announced that from September lunch service will be removed from Monday to Friday, with spa bookings offered a 'PigNic' to enjoy instead of a formal meal. 

Holt's Byfords has similarly revealed that from next month dinner will be served to guests only from Sunday to Thursday. 

Byfords shop and cafe, Holt.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Byfords in Holt has also changed its opening hours - Credit: Archant

Friday and Saturday dining will be available at limited capacity depending on staffing levels. 


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The three sites all come under the Norfolk Passport brand, with marketing manager Daniella Self saying the moves were a proactive strike. 

"It's not all doom and gloom - we're just not seeing the same influx of available staff as we usually see when we're hiring," she said. 

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"Some of that's because everyone is hiring, some of it is Brexit, some is because people have left the industry or are going back to school or university."

As a result the group is offering £300 rewards for successful candidates. 

She added: "The values of our business mean we go above and beyond - whether that's offering this or full wages to apprentices instead of the government-mandated wage. 

"They work really hard and we want to encourage them to stay in this industry so it's well worth doing."

Tom Oakley (general manager of The Ffokles & Street Feast) & Iain Wilson (owner)

L-R: Tom Oakley (general manager of The Ffokles & Street Feast) & Iain Wilson (owner) - Credit: DANIELLAPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK

Tom Oakley is the general manager at the Ffolkes and has worked on and off for the company since he was 15, he said: "It's a great team here and there's strong infrastructure in place. It is a bit frustrating to be scaling back on hours when we're so busy but it's just not sustainable for us. 

"The last thing we want to do is see the core staff we do have burn out - so we've scaled back to ensure work levels are sustainable for them and for our customers."

Outside The Pigs

Outside The Pigs - Credit: Submitted

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