'Chronic' staff shortages force permanent closure of Hang Fire Southern Kitchen

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Picture credit: Facebook (@TheHangFire)
Picture credit: Facebook (@TheHangFire)

Related tags Staff Recruitment Restaurant Barbecue Closure Wales Coronavirus

Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn's renowned Barry-based barbecue restaurant Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Wales has been forced to close permanently as a result of 'chronic' post-pandemic staff shortages.

In a statement posted to Instagram​, Evans and Guinn, who present Sam and Shauna's Big Cook-out​ on BBC One, said the closure of the restaurant 'isn't goodbye by any means, it's a see you later'.

They said: "The Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry has been considered the jewel in the crown of Wales’ restaurant scene since 2016, boasting a fully booked guest list since we opened and winning multiple National awards for our innovative take on American BBQ. But now, the state of hospitality recruitment and chronic staff shortages post-pandemic has finally forced our well-loved restaurant to close its doors permanently, with immediate effect.
"The legacy of the first Hang Fire restaurant will live on in our hearts.

"It’s been one of the most rewarding and challenging projects we’ve ever undertaken, and truly, it’s been nothing without our customers and existing staff team – and both have always been incredibly dedicated.

"We’re leaving on a high note, without ever compromising the quality and service that we’re so famous for. We thank every customer and friend for supporting us over the last five years."

Hospitality businesses have faced an unprecedented staffing crisis since the sector begun to unlock following the third Coronavirus lockdown earlier this year. 

Job vacancies across the hospitality sector more than doubled between May and July, according to recent figures​ from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Vacancies in accommodation and food service grew by 73,000 across the quarter, a rise of 163.7% compared to the previous three months.

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