Kitchin’s restaurant group has suspended two staff (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)
Two members of staff have been suspended by Tom Kitchin’s company after allegations of harassment and abuse in his restaurants.
The Great British Menu star said they will ‘address and remedy’ where they have ‘fallen short’, after a number of former employees of the Kitchin Group alleged that they had been harassed, abused and denied proper breaks during lengthy shifts while working at the group’s venues.
Kitchin runs The Kitchin, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Edinburgh, and the Scran and Scallie, a gastropub in the same city.
Kitchin Group MD Peter Southcott told Metro.co.uk in a statement: ‘Following allegations of unacceptable behaviour, two senior members of staff have been suspended whilst these claims are fully and independently investigated. We will not hesitate to take whatever action may be necessary.’
Kitchin, who has appeared on shows like MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen, said: ‘Top kitchens the world over can be high-pressure, frenetic and challenging environments, where emotions often run high.
‘However, the exacting standards of our food and service must be matched by the standards of behaviour in our kitchens and wider operations.
‘In the last few years, the feedback from our team members underlines the significant strides we’ve taken to improve what had often been a traditional culture in our kitchens, but we have more to do.
‘I’m immensely proud of my colleagues at the Kitchin Group and where we have fallen short, we will address it and remedy it. That will be our clear priority in the weeks, months and years ahead.’
The Times published allegations from 12 former employees, one of whom claimed that they were treated by a psychologist after leaving the job, and claims to have lost 8kg after working 16-hour shifts with 15-minute breaks.
A former worker alleged that he sought therapy after working at The Kitchin in 2017, and alleged that he was ‘put in a position’ by a senior staff member ‘where he had to catch a hot iron tray on his forearms, burning him’.
Other senior staff members were accused of pinning members of staff against the wall and flicking boiling water at those they thought weren’t working hard enough, while a number of staff alleged that they were watched while changing uniforms and had their bottoms touched by a senior member of staff.
Those suspended have not been identified.
Kitchin became Scotland’s youngest Michelin star winner in 2007 when he was just 29 years old, a year after he opened The Kitchin in Leith with his wife Michaela.Credit: Original article published here.