Restaurant pulls £9 an hour waiter job that had 947 applicants due to Covid curfew

A RESTAURANT has been forced to pull a waiter job on minimum wage that had 947 applicants due to coronavirus restrictions.

Peru Perdu, a Peruvian restaurant in Manchester, advertised for the role paying up to £8.72 an hour after doing well from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Peru Perdu, a Peruvian restaurant in Manchester, had to withdraw the role due to the 10pm curfew on the hospitality industry


Peru Perdu, a Peruvian restaurant in Manchester, had to withdraw the role due to the 10pm curfew on the hospitality industryCredit: twitter/Peruperdu

Featuring on Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, the restaurant had received 320 applications within four days.

But shortly after, the government announced the 10pm curfew for the hospitality industry and the position had to be withdrawn.

At this point, it’d already received 947 applicants and had narrowed it down to two candidates.

The story speaks volumes about the UK’s jobs crisis for the hospitality sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Job losses since June 2020

MANY firms have announced job cuts since June 2020 alone as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

These include:

  • Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration with five stores permanently closed
  • Victoria’s Secret plunged into administration, putting 800 jobs at risk
  • Fashion chain Quiz put its shop business into administration in , putting 82 stores at risk
  • British Gas owners cuts 5,000 jobs, over half of which will be in management
  • Airbus announces 1,700 job losses. It expects cuts to be made by summer 2021
  • TM Lewin says it will close all 66 of its UK shops, putting 600 jobs at risk
  • Harveys Furniture goes into administration resulting in 240 immdiate job losses and puts another 1,000 at risk
  • Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
  • EasyJet says it plans to close hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, putting 4,500 jobs at risk
  • Harrods has said it is consulting on cutting 680 jobs
  • Virgin Money, which owns Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, will cut 300 jobs
  • Topshop owner Arcadia has announced plans to cut 500 office staff
  • Royal Mail is expected to cut 2,000 jobs as a result of coronavirus
  • Book and stationery giant WH Smith has warned it could cut 1,500 jobs
  • DW Sport fell into administration and expects to cut 1,500 jobs
  • High street giant Boots says it expects to axe 4,000 jobs as well as closing 48 opticians branches
  • John Lewis revealed plans to close eight stores, putting 1,300 jobs at risk.
  • M&S plans to axe up to 7,000 roles, mostly made up of shop workers.
  • BMW and Mini are scrapping 520 roles across various local manufacturing plants.
  • Pret closed 30 stores and put 2,800 jobs at risk.
  • Virgin Atlantic has made 4,150 job cuts over the summer as demand for flights falls.
  • Premier Inn owner Whitbread is to cut 6,000 jobs due to coronavirus.
  • Pizza Hut has confirmed 29 restaurants will close putting 450 jobs at risk.
  • TSB bank is closing 164 branches and axing 900 jobs.
  • Fullers may have to get rid of 500 workers.
  • Greene King Group has confirmed 26 sites will permanently shut, while a further 53 will temporarily close.
  • National Trust has confirmed 1,300 job cuts as it’s hit by lockdown site closures.
  • Peacocks and Jaeger on the brink of collapse putting 24,000 jobs at risk.
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Restaurant chains including Pizza Express and Gourmet Burger Kitchen are among those that have had to shed staff due to coronavirus restrictions.

The situation is also set to get worse, with all restaurants and pubs being forced to shut once again from this Thursday, November 5, in a second lockdown – although they can still do takeaway and delivery.

Speaking on the show, which will be broadcast at 8pm tonight, the restaurant’s recruitment consultant Abi Dunn, said: “Normally we would have between 20 and 30 for a role like this.

“I’m shocked … and it’s a real indication of where the sector is at. We’re recruiting in different times.”

Abi Dunn, the restaurant's recruitment consultant, said she was shocked to receive almost 1,000 applications for the waiter role


Abi Dunn, the restaurant’s recruitment consultant, said she was shocked to receive almost 1,000 applications for the waiter roleCredit: Channel 4

The applicants included Jake, a former hotel manager, who said: “I thought it would be easier with a degree and ten years of experience, but it has been a struggle.

“I probably only have one-and-a-half month’s rent left in the bank account.

“That would only take me through November.”

Meanwhile, a second applicant named John, a 51-year-old ticket inspector who lost his job in March alongside his husband, said they’ve applied for 2,000 jobs since then.

Jake, a former hotel manager, has only one-and-a-half month's rent in his bank account


Jake, a former hotel manager, has only one-and-a-half month’s rent in his bank accountCredit: Channel 4
While former ticket inspector John and his husband have applied for 2,000 roles since losing their jobs in March


While former ticket inspector John and his husband have applied for 2,000 roles since losing their jobs in March Credit: Channel 4

He told Dispatches: “We’ve burnt through all our savings. It’s a toss-up between do we get gas and electric or do we get food?

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“And even if I do get food, if we’ve got no gas, I can’t cook it.”

Six weeks after the Peru Perdu job advert went out, Dispatches contacted everyone who had applied for the job.

Among those who replied, four out of five were still out of work.

It comes as the latest quarterly unemployment rate hit 4.5% for June to August – up 0.4% on the previous three months, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This equates to 1.5million people out of work, although the figure is now likely to be even higher.

Unions and and employers have warned that the planned end of the furlough scheme on Saturday, now postponed, prompted many companies to make cuts in September and early October.

The furlough scheme has been extended until December due to the second national lockdown – we explain all you need to know.

Meanwhile, the replacement Job Support Scheme has been postponed for when furlough ends.

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A few months ago, a think tank warned that there’ll be more than two million people out of work by Christmas unless the government acts.

Boris Johnson announces that the furlough scheme will be extended throughout November



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