Food next to go as Clifford Chance tightens belt

Food next to go as <a class=Clifford Chance tightens belt” />Clifford Chance has slashed its staff canteen subsidies and cut the opening hours of its deli and restaurant, in the latest cost-saving measure at the firm.

The firm has doubled the price of evening meals in staff restaurants by scrapping the 50 per cent subsidy that the firm provided for those working late.

An announcement on the Clifford Chance intranet page “London Today” explained: “There will be an annual price rise in the restaurant, Deli, Budgie [bar] and vending machines of 6 per cent. The price of food served in the restaurant in the evenings will now be the same as during the day. These changes are against a background of rising food prices.”

A senior Clifford Chance partner said: “The restaurant is not a profit centre. Whilst I regret that we have to increase these costs, the firm still continues to subsidise food to the tune of several million pounds.”

In addition to the increase in food prices, the opening hours of the “made-to-order sandwich bar” deli have been shortened. Having previously been open and staffed all-day from breakfast until dinner, it will now only “be open 11:30am-3:00pm, which are the busiest hours of use”, stated the announcement.

Instead, a “self-service breakfast bagel bar will open in the restaurant” and “there will be an extensive selection of sandwiches and snacks in the Deli’s ‘grab and go’ section”.

Finally, the restaurant will now be shut at weekends “as part of streamlining the service we offer”. But the announcement offers alternatives on weekends: “In addition to the 5th floor vending facilities, there are also many food outlets open in Jubilee Place at weekends. Fee-earners working at weekends will be able to order food to their desks from a selection of light meals.”

A spokesperson for Clifford Chance said: “Following the firm’s annual review of its catering services we have made some small changes. Overall, our aim has been to maintain our provision of 24 hour availability of a good choice of high quality, good value, food and beverages for our employees.”

This latest efficiency drive at Clifford Chance follows London managing partner Jeremy Sandelson recently berating staff for abuse of taxi privileges, against a background of rising taxi costs (as reported on 26 February).

Clifford Chance announced its associate pay-rises yesterday (8 May), which ranged from between around 4 and 4.88 per cent at most levels.