The payments, thought to be worth tens of thousands of pounds, follow revelations of underpayment at the Mayfair temple of gastronomy that have rumbled on for a month.
The Guardian reported that during a period of staff shortages some chefs were working as many as 68 hours a week for £5.50 an hour, well below the £7.20 an hour legal minimum for people over 24 years old. It also emerged that the 13% discretionary service charge added to the customer’s bill at Le Gavroche was not distributed to staff in addition to their wages.
Roux has apologised to the staff involved and said the underpayments were not intentional. He has announced a reduction in opening hours at the restaurant and raised prices by 13% while abolishing the service charge in order to clarify the issue. Several chefs have already received four-figure payments, and at least one is claiming that he is owed almost £8,000.