Chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi has said the tier 2 restrictions imposed on London have seen year-on-year takings at his six London restaurants fall by between 80% and 90%.

Chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi has said the tier 2 restrictions imposed on London have seen year-on-year takings at his six London restaurants fall by between 80% and 90%.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said the sad reality was he is begging the government to order the shutdown of his restaurants so he can access full furlough support.

“In all honesty it’s terrible, we’re are on our knees,” he said.

“Having already had the rule of six and the 10pm curfew, now we have to deal with the fact that households are unable to mix inside, and so we just don’t have customers coming through the doors.”

“Before Tier 2, takings had already dropped by 50% on last year, and now they’re down to just 10% or 20%,” Ottolenghi added.

“This is just not a viable place for a restaurant to be in, and I am sick of worry for my staff and those of other restaurants across the land that are stuck in this cursed Tier 2 category, which deprives us of oxygen but doesn’t give us any support. It’s ludicrous.

“Ironically, I’m begging to be shut down. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but it is the sad reality.

“At least then I would know we could get some kind of financial support and furlough payments for our staff.”