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.
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?