Will we all be loophole lunching?

Published 21 October 2020

by Adam Hyman

Another week and we find ourselves in new territory yet again working out what we can and cannot do. When Tier 2 hit London on Friday night, much of hospitality resigned itself to the fact that for the foreseeable future it was Valentine’s Day every night – just tables of two – and the odd larger table of “housemates”…who knew ladies who lunch living together was such a thing these days?

Over the weekend there were murmurings on social media and in the press that actually in despite of the Tier 2 regulations over who is allowed to dine indoors, business meetings are allowed in restaurants. The “work purposes” clause was included to allow freelancers to meet for business.

This loophole lifeline brings some much needed hope to our industry when it’s on its knees. I went into four restaurants around the Covent Garden and Aldwych area last night and three of them were practically empty. A smattering of tables. This is simply not sustainable. And if we’re now in Tier 2, it renders the 10pm curfew completely pointless. 

In a much needed stance of leadership for this industry right now – a lesson in clarity – Jeremy King announced yesterday that despite the bewildering rules around Tier 2 that Corbin & King will be accepting business meetings in their restaurants including The Wolseley and The Delaunay. I’ve already made my reservation. 

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