Ex-MasterChef finalist fears restaurant will close after bills TRIPLED

Ex-MasterChef finalist fears his restaurant will go bust after his monthly energy bill more than TRIPLED from £1,700 to a staggering £6,400

  • Tony Rodd, 2015 Masterchef finalist, owns Cooper & Ink in London with his wife
  • Claims that his annual EDF bill is likely to skyrocket from £20,000 to £80,000 
  • He said without any support he does not know how they will get through winter
  • Mr Rodd urged the Government to help restrict ‘greedy’ energy companies 

An ex-Masterchef finalist is now fearing his restaurant will go bust after his monthly energy bill more than tripled from £1,700 to a staggering £6,400.

Tony Rodd, 43, who was a runner-up in the 2015 edition of the famed TV cookery show, claims that he was warned his annual gas and electricity bill will likely explode from £20,000 to £80,000.

Mr Rodd, who owns the Cooper & Ink restaurant in Blackheath, south-east London, with his wife Becky said the prospect of having his bills shoot up is ‘terrifying’ and that he has ‘no idea how we are going to make it through the next few months.’

Speaking to the Sun, he said: ‘Our yearly estimate from EDF has spiralled up from £20,000 to £80,000 and things were already extremely tight. We are seeing a big squeeze from all sides.

‘We were paying £1,700 a month at the start of the year which then went up to £2,400. Now EDF has told us that this will jump up to £6,400 as of January 2023.’

He fears the only way to cover their costs would be to hike up their prices or increase the number of customers coming in, ‘neither of which is easy when most people are deeply struggling with money too’.

The relentless anxiety and stress of the situation is having a severe impact on the talented chef’s mental and physical health too.

Tony Rodd, an ex-Masterchef finalist, and his wife Becky Rodd (pictured together) are now fearing their restaurant will go bust after their monthly energy bill more than tripled from £1,700 to a staggering £6,400

Mr Rodd claims that he was warned his annual gas and electricity bill will likely explode from £20,000 to £80,000

Mr Rodd, who competed against 2015 Masterchef winner Simon Wood and other finalist Emma Spitzer, shared how he and his wife – ‘resilient and resourceful people’ – were able to get through the pandemic.

But now, as the cost-of-living takes its toll, he fears ‘there’s only so much we can do’.

He revealed that he now struggles to get to sleep and has to also consider his team of 20 staff who are reliant on them.

Mr Rodd added: ‘I know that my mates who own restaurants are feeling exactly the same way. Without more support I don’t see how any of us can survive the winter.’ 

At the moment, restaurants are being partially bailed out by the Energy Bill Relief Scheme – a programme which started in October and goes through until March next year. It enables businesses to claim a 50 per cent discount on wholesale gas and electricity costs.

Unfortunately for Mr Rodd, he claims that EDF told him that his restaurant was not eligible because they were on the energy company’s best tariff.

Mr Rodd is calling for urgent support as he warns that the hospitality industry is ‘on its knees.

Mr Rodd competed against 2015 Masterchef winner Simon Wood and other finalist Emma Spitzer

He wants the Government to prevent ‘greedy’ energy companies from increasing their bills to these rates.

Just a fortnight ago, a survey found that more than a third of the UK’s pubs, restaurants and hotels are expecting to be operating at a loss or be out of business by 2023 due to the spiralling energy and food costs.

The survey of more than 500 businesses in the hospitality sector found that the vast majority are facing higher energy and food costs, which has sent confidence in the future survival of their firm plummeting.

Leading trade associations UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association, The British Institute of Innkeeping and Hospitality Ulster joined forces to urge the Government to provide a lifeline for struggling firms. 

A spokesperson for EDF said: ‘Energy costs have increased significantly over the past 18 months due to the war in Ukraine and global gas constraints.

‘We’re working hard to continue offering competitive offers to our business customers.’

The energy company said they will do a detailed review of the restaurant’s account. 

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