Copenhagen dining institution Noma will deliver its last service next year after two decades, with owner Rene Redzepi saying it just doesn’t work financially anymore.
The three Michelin star restaurant has claimed the title of Worlds Best Restaurant a record five times and reimagined fine dining with Redzepi’s bold take on local and seasonal dishes such as grilled reindeer’s heart on a bed of fresh pine.
But despite a booked-out reservation list of diners willing to fork out four figures on a night out, Redzepi said the way the fine dining industry is structured is not sustainable.
“Financially and emotionally, as an employer and as a human being, it just doesn’t work,” Redzepi told The New York Times.
“We have to completely rethink the industry,” he. “This is simply too hard, and we have to work in a different way.”
Noma will close its doors at the end of 2024 with Redzepi instead focusing on his e-commerce business Noma Projects.
The restaurant employs around 100 staff and only recently started paying its interns who traditionally did three month stints for free.
“In an ideal restaurant, employees could work four days a week, feel empowered and safe and creative,” Redzepi said.
“The problem is how to pay them enough to afford children, a car and a house in the suburbs.”