Felixstowe restaurant closes due to chef recruitment difficulties

Steak Lobster & Co in Felixstowe is closed until October. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Steak Lobster & Co is closing permanently due to the difficulties of recruiting chefs - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A restaurant in Felixstowe has been forced to close permanently due to the difficulties of recruiting chefs. 

Steak Lobster & Co, on Undercliffe Road, Felixstowe closed its doors for the last time on Sunday. This comes after staffing issues forced the restaurant to close during September.

Owner Jay Poole said: "Basically, we have a break clause in the restaurant's lease, and with how hard it is to recruit chefs it is right now, we've decided it is time to get out."

"We advertised for three months without getting one CV. The few applicants we've had haven't met our standards. It seems Felixstowe is a difficult town to find a chef in." 

Half lobster main at Steak Lobster & Co in Felixstowe

Half lobster main at Steak Lobster & Co - Credit: Emily Cotton

This difficulty to source chefs is despite the fact in 2019 our restaurant critic praised Steak Lobster & Co, describing the food as "incredibly fresh", "delicious", and "very reasonably priced". 

In addition, the restaurant had four and a half stars on Google Reviews and Tripadvisor.

Mr Poole continued: "The customer base was there, but the issue is we just couldn't get the right staff. If we lost one it's lights out, at least for a while, and while we're paying rent that just doesn't work, it's just too risky.

"If we don't get out now we'll be trapped with an empty building."

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Mr Poole added: "I won't be returning to the restaurant industry after this, not the way things are. It's just not an industry I want to put my money in.

"Since the pandemic, things have been difficult. Surviving it as a business was easy, it is the aftermath with the staff shortages that's the real killer."

"I wouldn't want to be a chef at the moment. I think after three months, which a lot of them were spending with their families, the found they enjoyed the time off and didn't want to go back to the unsociable hours of kitchen work." 

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