If we thought 2020 was a disaster for hospitality then, to paraphrase Messrs Bachman and Turner, it’s possible we ain’t seen nothing yet.

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UK Hospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, has tweeted that the sector is “facing collapse”. She highlighted particularly the plight of those moving from tier 2 to 3 tomorrow (31st December), such as Matthew Brend, of Brend Hotels, who said: “Every New Year’s Eve booking we’ve spent all week booking in, confirming rules to, ordered food & drink for, prepped for, etc etc etc, we must now cancel on less than 24 hours notice. What a joke!”

Nicholls said: “This is the reality for many — absolutely frustrating to have the latest announcement with less than 12 hours notice. The costs to business of last minute changes — food, drink, staff — are significant and are not covered by closure grants.”

The Times trumpeted that hospitality stocks bounced back as the markets re-opened this week, but on closer inspection this turned out to be a reference to a 3% rise in Mitchells & Butlers shares. Hardly a boost for our hard-working independent hospitality sector for whom 2021 holds … well, who knows what?

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