Gordon Ramsay has said the restaurant industry "should be less of a masculine world" in conversation with chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The chef-restaurateur was speaking to Sunak as part of the Treasury's new ‘In Conversation' series, where the chancellor speaks to industry leaders and experts about how they've reacted to the pandemic. The series is expected to cover hospitality, global affairs, sustainability, culture and technology.
Ramsay told the chancellor: "It should be more 50-50 split. We need more powerful females at the forefront."
During the conversation, he said the furlough scheme had been "instrumental in maintaining some form of positivity", that the VAT cut was "pivotal" and, along with the business rates holiday, "those caveats worked out brilliantly".
In March 2020, just days after the national lockdown was announced, it was reported that the Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Group had terminated the contracts of hundreds of staff members working across its London restaurants. The group is understood to have U-turned on this and instead made use of the furlough scheme.
Speaking to the chancellor, Ramsay added: "Landlords have been super positive. There's always going to be one or two in the background that aren't complying. But I think what they've really understood is that when you have a brand that is strong and is coming back even stronger, and I think that was one of the key points for the team to focus on, repositioning these restaurants better and stronger than we were before lockdown, and so almost treat those businesses like a new opening."
Ramsay's business empire includes 18 restaurants in London and 17 restaurants internationally, including in the US, France, Dubai and Singapore, along with further openings planned this year. Across the Gordon Ramsay Group's portfolio, its restaurants hold seven Michelin stars, including the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London.