Chancellor Rishi Sunak serves the WRONG table in Wagamama

Is he the world’s worst waiter? Chancellor Rishi Sunak serves the WRONG table in Wagamama during photoshoot as internet users poke fun at ‘Brand Rishi’ because it looks like he is launching Rose wine

  • Mr Sunak unveiled new policies he hopes will boost the struggling economy
  • He revealed his new ‘eat out to help out’ plan to help the hospitality sector
  • To promote the policy he became a waiter at a central London Wagamama
  • But the bumbling Chancellor took the food to the wrong table yesterday 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak last night served the wrong table at Wagamama during a photoshoot as social media users poke fun at ‘Brand Rishi’ today.

Mr Sunak unveiled a range of new policies he hopes will boost the struggling economy yesterday, such as a furloughed staff will be given a £1,000 bonus to keep workers in jobs and plans to abolish stamp duty on properties up to £500,000.

He also revealed his new ‘eat out to help out’ plan for dining out in August to help the hospitality sector, with a 50% discount per head from Monday to Wednesday up to a maximum discount of £10 per diner.

To promote the policy the Chancellor – who previously waited tables while at University – served food at a Wagamama in central London.

The Chancellor, wearing a broad smile, and a little name badge, looked confident leaving the kitchen with two plates of what looked like chicken katsu curry

But Mr Sunak tries to deliver the food to the wrong table and is left bemused by the mix up

He expresses disbelief but then puts one plate of food down on one table and another on a completely separate table

Wearing a name badge, Mr Sunak smiled confidently as he took the two plates of food from the kitchen, and said: ‘I’ve been told to bring you some food that you apparently ordered?’.

The two customers said ‘we actually haven’t’ but added one of the dishes held by the Chancellor could be theirs.

A bemused Mr Sunak said: ‘is that not your order? Are you kidding me?’  before putting one plate of one down on one table and the chicken katsu curry on a completely different table.

Social media users were unimpressed by Mr Sunak’s waiting skills and many also questioned why he wasn’t wearing a mask.

Actor Tom Payne said ‘no mask, no clue’ and Stephen Martin said the Chancellor ‘needs a little bit of training on table number.’

A Twitter user Stuart Loversidge said: ‘How is he going to put food down in front of people whilst maintaining distance given he isn’t wearing a mask?’.

And Gareth Pennington said: ‘Well that photo op went drastically wrong, maybe stick to the job you’re supposed to be doing.’ 

People have also been mocking the Chancellor for the announcements yesterday coming with his own personal branding, which involves using his signature.

Asked about ‘Brand Rishi’ today he said is was a good way to communicate with the public on new things the government are doing. 

He said: ‘I am keen to get our message across to as many people as possible and if that means they poke some fun at me in the process so be it.’

In an interview of Radio 4’s Today Programme he laughed at suggestions his branding looked like he was launching a range of rose wine.

The announements yesterday came with Mr Sunak’s own personal branding (bottom right)

Social media users have mocked the Chancellor’s branding saying it looks like he’a about to launch a range of rose wine

It comes after Mr Sunak yesterday unveiled a range of measures as part of an emergency package of support to help keep people in work as the coronavirus economic crisis hits.

He warned that ‘hardship lies ahead’, but insisted that no-one will be left ‘without hope’.

Unveiling announcements in a ‘plan for jobs’ which could cost up to £30 billion, Mr Sunak also confirmed plans to abolish stamp duty on properties up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland under a temporary measure lasting until March 31 2021.

Sunak’s ‘mini-Budget’ package at a glance 

Stamp duty threshold will increase from £125,000 to between £300,000 and £500,000 for six months to boost housing market;

A radical plan to pay the wages of up to 300,000 young people on Universal Credit if businesses agree to take them on for at least six months; 

A £2billion scheme to subsidise home insulation and other environmental upgrades that ministers hope will support more than 100,000 jobs;

A temporary cut in VAT which is expected to be focused on struggling sectors like hospitality; 

Schools, hospitals and other public buildings are to get £1billion to make them greener and more energy efficient; 

Some £50million to fund retrofitting of social housing with insulation, double glazing and heat pumps;

Nature conservation schemes given £40million to plant trees, clean up rivers and create new green spaces. 

He announced an ‘eat out to help out’ plan for dining out in August to boost the hospitality sector, with a 50% discount per head from Monday to Wednesday up to a maximum discount of £10 per diner.

And he slashed VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5% from July 15 until January 12, a tax cut worth up to £4 billion.

Mr Sunak also set out a scheme for firms to be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25 and a new bonus of £1,500 for apprentices over that age.

The furlough scheme winds down in October, and Mr Sunak is acting in an attempt to avoid widespread redundancies as state support is withdrawn.

‘While we can’t protect every job, one of the most important things we can do to prevent unemployment is to get as many people as possible from furlough back to their jobs,’ he said.

Under the Jobs Retention Bonus, firms will be paid £1,000 for each employee they bring back from furlough and continuously employ through to January on an average of at least £520 a month.

‘We’ll pay the bonus for all furloughed employees,’ he said.

‘So if employers bring back all nine million people who have been on furlough, this would be a £9 billion policy to retain people in work.

‘Our message to business is clear: if you stand by your workers, we will stand by you.’

The Chancellor, in what amounted to a mini-Budget, told MPs that the Government will do ‘all we can’ to keep people in work.

Addressing MPs, Mr Sunak said his plan would help protect livelihoods after the economy contracted by 25% in just two months.

He said: ‘We have taken decisive action to protect our economy.

‘But people are anxious about losing their jobs, about unemployment rising. We’re not just going to accept this.

‘People need to know we will do all we can to give everyone the opportunity of good and secure work.

‘People need to know that although hardship lies ahead, no-one will be left without hope.’

Other measures announced by Mr Sunak include:

– A £2 billion scheme of taxpayer-funded work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

– A £3 billion green package, with grants for home-owners and public buildings to improve energy efficiency.

– A £111 million programme of unpaid traineeships combining work experience with training.

The Chancellor’s statement comes after warnings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that the UK’s unemployment rate could soar to 14.8%, with job losses comparable to the 1930s.

Mr Sunak said the Office for Budget Responsibility and Bank of England are both projecting ‘significant job losses’.

That was ‘the most urgent challenge we now face’ but ‘I will never accept unemployment as an unavoidable outcome’, Mr Sunak said.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds welcomed the support for the economy but stressed that more needs to be done to control the virus.

‘The best the Government can do to boost demand is to give consumers and workers the confidence and psychological security that they can go out to work, to shop, and to socialise in safety,’ she said.

CBI director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said the Chancellor had been right to prioritise jobs but said more immediate support for firms is required.

‘Many viable firms are facing maximum jeopardy right now,’ she said. ‘The job retention bonus will help firms protect jobs.

‘But with nearly 70% of firms running low on cash, and three in four reporting lack of demand, more immediate direct support for firms, from grants to further business rates relief, is still urgently needed.’ 

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