A job centre in Shittingley Fields, East London, has leapfrogged famous venues such as the American Bar and the Fat Duck to take the number one spot on Trip Advisor.
Guests to the Job Centre have been gushing online about the marked improvement in service over the last six months, widely attributed to the number of hospitality staff in the building at any given time.
‘There’s always someone to pull out your chair or top up your water for you,’ said employee Norma Jobs. ‘Some out-of-work barbacks come in for a single meeting and end up pulling double shifts, restocking the staff fridge and lining up all the pens in the stationary cupboard.’
Jobs and shots
Fake Booze visited the top-ranked venue recently, and found bartenders offering informal cocktail advice and free shots to job seekers. A Master Sommelier was handing out complimentary glasses of cremant to those waiting in the queue.
One visitor praised the career-and-wine pairing advice they’d just received and said they’d definitely recommend the venue to their friends when they all lost their jobs in the new year.
‘You should have seen this place before we got here,’ said one former bar manager, handing out pre-batched negronis to a group of unemployed waiters. ‘Frankly I don’t know why anyone would ever have come. But look at it now – it’s buzzing! Our team’s hard work has really turned it around.
‘Footfall is the highest it’s ever been.’
The local MP, Sir Norman Brexit, said that the Job Centre’s success was ‘proof that Britain is resolutely open for business. Particularly the business of finding jobs for people who don’t have them, which is booming.’
The Shittingley Fields success is part of a wider trend for disruptor food and drink offerings, caused by the wholesale collapse of hospitality.
A building site in Liverpool has become a destination venue among the north-west’s coffee lovers following the short-term hiring of several out-of-work baristas.
And last month an Amazon depot near Birmingham became the first online fulfilment centre anywhere in the world to earn a Michelin star.