A YORK restaurant boss was left stunned when he advertised for 15 new members of staff - and received 800 applications.

Wayne Chadwick, owner of the York Roast Co, in Low Petergate, advertised to fill the new posts after being allowed to reopen his outlets again last month.

And he was astonished when the company received more than 800 applications for the positions - two supervisors and 13 team members.

Mr Chadwick told The Press: “Usually we would be lucky to have 20 people applying for the jobs that we were advertising for - with many not even turning up to the interview.

“Pre-pandemic, it was very difficult to recruit staff because the jobs market was solid.

“But now we’re in a different situation.

“In one respect it’s wonderful as we managed to get the people we needed but in reality, it’s very sad for others, especially those who are on furlough, not knowing the future outcome of their job.

“I’ve actually had a lot of individuals who I had wanted to work for me in the past, now applying for the roles because they are on furlough and think once it ends they will be made redundant."

He added trade was currently down by about 20 per cent – but that things were looking up and getting back to normal.

Wayne said: “On the one hand we managed to fill our vacancies rapidly but on the other hand I feel extremely sad for those who are looking for work with so few jobs.

“I’m just pleased that we have been able to help a little. It is worrying for York but I think it will bounce back providing we don’t get a second wave.”

He added that the company was also looking for further opportunities.

The latest local authority data for the city shows that 12,674 unemployed people and those on low incomes claimed Universal Credit in July, up from 12,453 the previous month.

Nationally, 81,000 employees lost their jobs in July, with about 730,000 UK workers having been taken off the payrolls since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Figures show that Britain has collapsed into its largest recession on record after the coronavirus lockdown sparked a 20.4 per cent contraction of the economy between April and June - the worst quarterly drop since records began in 1955.