Published 15 December 2020
by Harriet Prior
Another huge blow for the hospitality industry, as yesterday it was announced that London will move into England’s highest tier of Covid restrictions from midnight tonight. The changes affecting greater London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire mean that all bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must close except for delivery and takeaway.
In response to the news, industry figures have started to share their thoughts. Co-founder of D&D London Des Gunewardena says “in the context of the complete lack of evidence that there are significant Covid infections happening in restaurants, to close restaurants and cancel bookings in what is normally THE busiest week of the year feels like an almost gratuitous kick in the teeth.”
Rik Campbell, co-founder of Kricket echoed this, adding “Christmas and New Year were already looking bleak… it’s incredibly worrying for our business.” He suggested that cash support is necessary, in the form of grants and tax relief. Allegra’s Patrick Powell agrees: “the government now needs to follow France and Germany’s example and provide more support for business owners. I feel that the restaurants in the UK are not being consulted at all.”
Others were keen to highlight additional consequences, for example Wild by Tart’s Tom Warren notes “the amount of food going to waste as a result of the lack of warning we’ve had is devastating.”
These concerns follow the petition to create a Minister for Hospitality in the UK government, which you can support and make your voice heard by clicking here.
In the run of to the festive period, restaurants have a huge amount of stock and are now being forced to shut with two days’ notice. So if you have a reservation, CODE encourages you to support the restaurant by getting a takeaway or delivery – ask those who perhaps aren’t set up for it yet if they can do something informal and – if you’re an operator with intel on how best to set things up, please share it..
We’ll keep you updated with any more developments and do our best to provide support as always through a difficult period.