Wednesday, March 3

Pay restaurants & pubs MORE to stay closed – or let us open safely. Again!

We may get used to seeing end of service clean up as a permanent fixture, for sometime…

It’s now beginning to become a merry go round of open, close, open. How many more times can any business continuously open and close it’s doors before they say, we simply can’t carry on anymore!

The list of closures in London is staggering and includes some famous names you may know of;

Café de Paris, Leicester Square

Two Lights, Shoreditch

Roux at Parliament Square

Dinerama, Shoreditch

Kym’s, Central London

Milk & Honey, Soho

Ace Hotel, Shoreditch

The Jellied Eel, Walthamstow

Bubbledogs, Fitzrovia

Forza Win Peckham, Peckham

Le Caprice, St James’

This only covers a small selection of over 50 restaurants and bars in London that will not be opening again after this winter’s lockdown!

Where is the path forward?

Furlough is coming to an end, again, in April 2021 and after endless hand-outs of grants being offered to many in the hospitality industry. This has still not been enough to see so many successful businesses succumb to the disaster that has destroyed the high street.

Yes, restaurants and cafes can open on a takeaway basis, but unfortunately many average Joe’s do not simply understand that it’s very difficult turning your kitchen to a fully serviced takeaway machine. If your restaurant or cafe has been known for years as a dine in venue, it’s very difficult to change the customers mindset. Not to mention you are competing in a saturated takeaway market that has performed tremendously well since the start of the pandemic.

But, less we do not forget bars – they have no luxury of offering a takeaway service unless they have an off-license and the will power of competing against supermarket chains knock-down prices of booze.

There is great doubt surrounding the bounce back loan scheme that was launched in April 2020. Expectations of nearly up to 70% of loans given out will never be repaid due to closures or fraud.

But, let’s be frank – £50,000 is going to be a pebble in the ocean for many operators across different areas due to astronimcal rent, rates and cost of opening safely to only close in a short period of time.

To date, because of the continuous uncertainty of opening and closing operators over the UK, we possibly need to look at the option of further funding or another form of a bounce back loan and writing the original loans off – the industry as a whole didn’t have much to bounce back to in April?

Keep pubs and restaurants closed until May or Covid will surge, scientists warn.
University researchers say relaxing restrictions before at least 80 per cent of population has been vaccinated would be ‘very bad’

Quote from Daily Telegraph

Government advised to keep hospitality closed until May.

It seems scientists are living on the hope that mass vaccination will be the beacon of hope in letting the economy open again.

The question is, how much longer can most businesses survive on the grants that are presented at the minute? The data coming out from different think tanks indicate that lean operators are now at more of a risk of going under than large operators due to the length of time being closed.

The pathway out of 2021’s lockdown throughout the UK is beginning to appear more like the never ending road to economic disaster.

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