Today, pubs up and down the land will find out their fate for the foreseeable as details of new tiers, post-lockdown, are published.
Now that’s a substantial meal …
To say lack of faith in government within the hospitality industry is running high would be something of an understatement. The latest to weigh in is Kris Gumbrell, chief executive of Brewhouse and Kitchen, who has written to all his venues’ MPs.
In a stinging letter, he says businesses are “living in fear” waiting for today’s announcement. “Effectively, the prime minister is playing the part of Caesar in a Coliseum, deciding which business lives, and which dies, underpinned by an egocentric assertion that this is a ‘gift’ Christmas to a wide public. This is utter nonsense.
“The lack-of-evidence-based, arbitrary decision making, with only ‘lip service’ consultation to trade bodies, will be remembered as one of the great flaws in the government’s handling of the crisis.”
In a well crafted missive, he goes on to add that, even offering the substatial meal, operating in tier 2 is unviable, and that the plans for household mixing could see people getting together privately in an unregulated manner, rather than in a covid-secure venue. He also expresses sympathy for those pubs who don’e serve food, and says that grants available are not adequate for businesses. Read the full text of the letter here.
‘The future of hundreds of breweries and thousands of pubs hangs in the balance’
Meanwhile, more than 50 pub and brewing businesses — members of the British Beer and Pub Association — have written to the prime minister telling him pubs are being ‘scapegoated’ and could be lost forever, unless he takes action.
The letter states: “The pub is clearly being singled out for exceptionally harsh and unjustified treatment, and unless your government changes course, and soon, huge portions of this most British of institutions will simply not be there come the spring.”
After setting out many business points, it concludes: “We cannot overstate how serious the situation facing our staff, communities and businesses is at this stage. The future of hundreds of breweries and thousands of pubs hangs in the balance.
“The focal point of countless communities in every region of the UK could be lost forever — the social consequences of that do not bear thinking about. It would be nothing less than heartbreaking if, having survived through the last nine months, working tirelessly to put in place countless safety measures, pubs now face ruin with the end of the pandemic in sight.
“Moreover, the support the government has given us up to this point would all be for nothing, a colossal waste of resource, only to end up in a much worse position than we were just a few months ago. The looming disaster is avoidable, but only if you act now.”