Sunday Brunch star Simon Rimmer tells Good Morning Britain about "heartbreaking" decision to close Greens

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The West Didsbury institution shut its doors suddenly at the start of the year after 33 years in business.

TV chef Simon Rimmer has blamed the “heartbreaking” hospitality crisis for the closure of his Didsbury institution Greens.

The Sunday Brunch star told Good Morning Britain that increased rent and supermarket deals meant he could not afford to keep the doors open. Rimmer announced the closure of his West Didsbury vegetarian eatery at the turn of the year, ending its 33-year residency on Lapwing Lane and he says other businesses are having to make the same sad decision.

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The 60-year-old chef opened up to hosts Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley on Wednesday morning about the worries he has about the future of hospitality.  Rimmer said: “There is a crisis in our industry, I think hospitality is really struggling.”

The discussion comes at a time when the cost of living crisis and inflation has seen costs of rent and bills rising astronomically, leaving everyday people and business owners scratching their heads about how to stay afloat. A 2024 study by the Guardian reported that the number of UK businesses that could not afford to pay their bills has increased by 52% since 2021, as many cite the crisis and soaring energy bills as the reason why.

Rimmer revealed that rising rent prices were to blame for the closure of Greens, as landlords increased his rent by 35% prior to his decision to shut down. He said: “We’ve hit the point now where you go – I can’t afford to open the door.”

Greens in Didsbury was forced to close after 33 yearsGreens in Didsbury was forced to close after 33 years
Greens in Didsbury was forced to close after 33 years | Google Maps

The shock closure of the vegetarian restaurant will be of great sadness to many customers of the long-running business, opened by Rimmer alongside his business partner Simon Connelly in 1990. The celebrity chef claimed that supermarkets are the main industry competitor of hospitality businesses due to the ability to spend a little on a lot.

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Mid-priced Greens sold main meals for around £15 and he believes that some may prefer to spend less and stay indoors, suggesting that potential customers could also get a bottle of wine and a dessert for the same amount of money.

Rimmer added: “It’s heartbreaking. We have been going for thirty-three years and the restaurant is busy but we can’t make enough money, or any money in fact.”

The Greens restaurant in Sale, which opened 18 months ago, remains open. Rimmer proposed that a decrease in VAT could be a huge help in saving his other site, adding: “If it was dropped from 20 to 10% it would give us a fighting chance.”

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