The impact of the UK national lockdowns devastated the restaurant industry. Trade association UK Hospitality said at its peak there were almost 700,000 jobs affected.
But TV chef Ramsay, 55, told the Radio Times: "It’s been devastating the last two years. Landlords don’t say, ‘Take a holiday for two years’. But I think what has been evident for all of us is the c**p’s gone."
He added: “Well, just s**tholes in a prime position and taking advantage because they’re in a great location, and they’ve got the footfall. But now we’ve wiped the slate clean, which is good.”
As well as independent businesses, restaurant chains that closed branches included Carluccio’s, Byron Burger, Ask, Zizzi, Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge, Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquitos, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Pizza Express.
Ramsay has been awarded 16 Michelin stars in his career. He currently holds seven.
The Bank Balance host came under fire during lockdown when he and his wife Tana decamped to their home in Cornwall, instead of staying in London.
Ramsay said: “God knows why we took so much s**t from the Cornish. We lived down there; we just hadn’t been down there for a long time. We didn’t sneak down there at all. We got there at an appropriate time and had an absolutely amazing time.
"When the kids started disappearing again, I didn’t want it to end – as a dad, not a chef.”
The celebrity chef is father to Megan, 23, twins Holly and Jack, 22, Matilda, 20, and three-year-old Oscar.
During the first lockdown, there were reports that Ramsay had been spotted at various locations around Cornwall, despite government guidance to stay at home and only go out for limited daily exercise.
During the third lockdown, the Hell's Kitchen star flew to Central America to film for his National Geographic cooking show Uncharted.
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