Pub and restaurant bosses say they are ‘better off furloughing staff’

Manchester bar owner Martin Greenhow has said that businesses like his in Tier 3 are better off 'sitting on our hands' and claiming furlough

Manchester bar owner Martin Greenhow has said that businesses like his in Tier 3 are better off 'sitting on our hands' and claiming furlough

Manchester bar owner Martin Greenhow has said that businesses like his in Tier 3 are better off ‘sitting on our hands’ and claiming furlough

England’s pubs and bars have suffered a ‘mortal blow’ after Boris Johnson imposed brutal Tier 2 and 3 rules on 99% of the country yesterday with one landlord describing the decision as ‘business torture’. 

Manchester bar owner Martin Greenhow has said that businesses like his in Tier 3 are better off ‘sitting on our hands’ and claiming furlough while the British Beer and Pub Association has warned that two thirds of all pubs in Tier 2 areas are not viable with 4,600 jobs already gone this year.    

Mr Greenhow told the BBC: ‘Every tier is a mortal blow to hospitality. Tier 2 is the old Tier 3 remember and it simply doesn’t work. We’ve tried.

‘We are better sitting on our hands taking benefits, furlough and what meagre grants are available from the Government.

‘The tiers are waterboarding for our industry – we’re allowed out for a brief gasp of fiscal oxygen and we’re slammed back down. This is, pure and simple, business torture’.

But pubs and restaurants with outside space that can reopen next week are said to be enjoying a flood of bookings as friends rush to get back together for some al fresco dining and drinking when lockdown ends of December 2.

A closed pub in Manchester. The city is in tier three so no hospitality venues will be allowed to open

A closed pub in Manchester. The city is in tier three so no hospitality venues will be allowed to open

A closed pub in Manchester. The city is in tier three so no hospitality venues will be allowed to open 

Demand has been so high in London that many venues are fully booked. However, the British Beer and Pub Association has warned that two thirds of pubs in Tier 2 areas are not viable because they cannot serve food or host people outdoors.

1,700 jobs are lost as hospitality firms learn they will not be allowed to reopen on December 2 

Two of Britain’s biggest pub groups announced 1,700 job cuts as tens of thousands of businesses were told they will not reopen on December 2.

Toby Carvery owner, Mitchells & Butlers, and Fuller, Smith & Turner swung the axe in a new blow to the hospitality industry.

The job losses came as Boris Johnson said 99 per cent of England – or 55m people – would be in the two toughest levels of Covid measures when the lockdown ends next week.

Mitchells & Butlers, which owns 1,700 pubs and restaurants, said it had been forced to make 1,300 job cuts because of the pandemic.

The group fell to a £123million loss for the year to September 26, from pre-tax profits of £177million in 2019.

Revenues plunged 34 per cent to £1.5billion, and are down 50.8 per cent since the end of September due to the second lockdown.

Fuller’s, which has 400 pubs mostly in the south-east, revealed it has shed 1,000 staff, including 400 redundancies, this year. 

It fell to a £22.2million loss in the six months to September 26 after sales fell 78 per cent to £45.6million due to the first lockdown. 

The sector has already lost 4,600 jobs at Young’s, Marston’s, Greene King and Wetherspoons, and almost all businesses will go into Tiers Two and Three from December 2.

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The hospitality industry believes they are being unfairly punished because only around five  per cent of coronavirus infections have come from them.

Venues in Tier 3 regions such as Manchester and Newcastle can only open for takeaways, which was branded a ‘hammer blow’ for the beleaguered sector.

And in Tier 2 pubs can only serve alcohol if bought with a ‘substantial meal’, leaving drink-led pubs weighing up whether it was even commercially viable to trade.  

But Mr Johnson has said that the draconian restrictions on household mixing, which threaten to cripple pubs, clubs and restaurants, were the price that had to be paid to keep schools open this winter 

It came as the boss of Fortnum & Mason, Ewan Venters, predicted that a third of all British high street retailers could go to the wall by the spring. 

Mr Johnson imposed brutal Tier 2 and 3 rules on 99% of England on Thursday, the higher category bans all hospitality business, while the other permits pubs to stay open only if they serve food and household can only mix outside with a substantial meal. 

All desperate restaurants and bars in Tier 3 can now rely on is through takeaway orders. 

James Thomas, a hotelier in Ramsgate, Kent, which is also in Tier 3, said: ‘Christmas is of vital importance to the hospitality industry because it comes before the dreaded January.

‘You can’t control the wind but you can set your sails. At the moment we have very little sail to set because we’re not allowed to get the boat out of the harbour’.  

More than 50 pubs and breweries including Greene King, Heineken and Budweiser pleaded with the Government to extend support to avoid thousands of local venues going bust.

In a letter to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak they said: ‘It would be nothing less than heart-breaking if, having survived through the last nine months, pubs now face ruin with the end of the pandemic in sight.

Drinkers in Soho in July. Similar scenes - with warmer clothes - should be possible in London, which is in Tier 2

Drinkers in Soho in July. Similar scenes - with warmer clothes - should be possible in London, which is in Tier 2

Drinkers in Soho in July. Similar scenes – with warmer clothes – should be possible in London, which is in Tier 2 

Cheap as chips! Tier 2 pub landlord to start selling ‘substantial’ scampi and fries for just £3 in desperate bid to get drinkers back 

A London pub landlord will start selling scampi and chips for just £3 next week when he is forced to sell a ‘substantial meal’ to every drinker under Tier 2 restrictions.

Gary Murphy, of the Ye Old Mitre in High Barnet, said it would be impossible to grill his regular £10 dishes for each punter and so will deep fry everything at cut-price.

Gary Murphy, of the Ye Old Mitre in High Barnet, said he will be offering deep-fried food at cut price

Gary Murphy, of the Ye Old Mitre in High Barnet, said he will be offering deep-fried food at cut price

Gary Murphy, of the Ye Old Mitre in High Barnet, said he will be offering deep-fried food at cut price 

Mr Murphy, who makes 97 per cent of his profits from drinks, has overhauled his menu so his regular punters are not deterred from stopping by for a drink.

Customers will be able to buy either scampi, chicken or a burger and chips for just £3, he told MailOnline.

Usually the pub sells 8oz burgers with ‘all the trimmings’ for £10 which takes 20 minutes on the grill.

But Mr Murphy said doing that for every customer in his tiny kitchen would be impossible and so is replacing it with a deep fried burger with no bun. 

He said today: ‘I think the meal requirement is nonsense but I’m opening out of desperation. I may not make a profit but hopefully I won’t carry on making a loss.’  

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‘The support the Government has given us up to this point would all be for nothing, a colossal waste of resources. The looming disaster is avoidable, but only if you act now.’

Mitchells & Butlers, which owns 1,700 pubs and restaurants, said it had been forced to make 1,300 job cuts because of the pandemic.

The group fell to a £123million loss for the year to September 26, from pre-tax profits of £177million in 2019.

Revenues plunged 34 per cent to £1.5billion, and are down 50.8 per cent since the end of September due to the second lockdown.

Fuller’s, which has 400 pubs mostly in the south-east, revealed it has shed 1,000 staff, including 400 redundancies, this year. 

It fell to a £22.2million loss in the six months to September 26 after sales fell 78 per cent to £45.6million due to the first lockdown. 

The sector has already lost 4,600 jobs at Young’s, Marston’s, Greene King and Wetherspoons, and almost all businesses will go into Tiers Two and Three from December 2.

Over 38,000 pubs, restaurants, bars and hotels in England will shut in Tier Three, apart from for takeaways, affecting 38,000 workers. 

Around 120,000 venues, employing 1.5m people, will be put into Tier Two, with bosses warning that three-quarters of Tier Two hospitality businesses will make a loss because household mixing is banned and they can only serve alcohol with a ‘substantial meal’. 

The bosses of four northern pub groups, including Robinsons and Thwaites, said: ‘Livelihoods, employment and communities will be destroyed by the Government’s shameful targeting of pubs. Boris Johnson is wilfully dealing out certain economic ruin to our pubs and the North.’

Fuller’s boss Simon Emeny, who said that three-quarters of his pubs will be shut in Tier Two, said: ‘This is a savage blow to the sector. We can go to gyms and have our hair cut in all tiers, but pubs are being singled out for their own tier system.’

Mitchells & Butlers chief executive Phil Urban said: ‘I feel incredibly let down. It is bizarre and without foundation – nobody has been able to give an ounce of evidence. It is galling.’

After weeks of uncertainty, hospitality bosses today discovered their fate for when the national lockdown ends on December 2

After weeks of uncertainty, hospitality bosses today discovered their fate for when the national lockdown ends on December 2

After weeks of uncertainty, hospitality bosses today discovered their fate for when the national lockdown ends on December 2

London and Liverpool will be put into Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the bottom tier

London and Liverpool will be put into Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the bottom tier

London and Liverpool will be put into Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the bottom tier

Toby Carvery owner Mitchells & Butlers announced it had been forced to make 1,300 job cuts because of the pandemic. Meanwhile Fuller¿s revealed it has shed 1,000 staff

Toby Carvery owner Mitchells & Butlers announced it had been forced to make 1,300 job cuts because of the pandemic. Meanwhile Fuller¿s revealed it has shed 1,000 staff

Toby Carvery owner Mitchells & Butlers announced it had been forced to make 1,300 job cuts because of the pandemic. Meanwhile Fuller’s revealed it has shed 1,000 staff

Firms supplying pubs have also been hit. Britvic, which owns J2O and Pepsi, reported an 8.6 per cent fall in sales in the year to September 30.

Fuller's boss Simon Emeny said that three-quarters of his 400 pubs will be shut in Tier Two

Fuller's boss Simon Emeny said that three-quarters of his 400 pubs will be shut in Tier Two

Fuller’s boss Simon Emeny said that three-quarters of his 400 pubs will be shut in Tier Two

It salvaged a 0.8 per cent rise in profits to £111.2million thanks in part to families in lockdown drinking at home.

One of Britain’s top restaurateurs has savaged the government‘s severe new tier system as a death sentence for the hospitality sector.

Richard Caring, who owns chains including The Ivy and Bill’s, believes that more than two thirds of his industry has been so mauled by lockdowns that it will never recover.

Mr Caring told MailOnline: ‘This government bounces off one wall onto another, its inexperience and inefficiencies are shown clearly in the manner they have handled this awful pandemic so far. 

‘It has turned both its inexperience and inefficiency against the hospitality industry of this country.

‘Already what was the second largest industry in this country has been permanently decimated by at least 35%, never to return.’ 

Boris Johnson imposed brutal Tier 2 and 3 rules on 99% of England on Thursday, the higher category bans all hospitality business, while the other permits pubs to stay open only if they serve food. 

Richard Caring, owner of restaurant chains including The Ivy and Bill's, has torn the government to pieces over its 'inexperience and inefficiency' in dealing with Covid

Richard Caring, owner of restaurant chains including The Ivy and Bill's, has torn the government to pieces over its 'inexperience and inefficiency' in dealing with Covid

Richard Caring, owner of restaurant chains including The Ivy and Bill’s, has torn the government to pieces over its ‘inexperience and inefficiency’ in dealing with Covid

A shuttered restaurant on the Strand in central London during the second national lockdown earlier this month

A shuttered restaurant on the Strand in central London during the second national lockdown earlier this month

A shuttered restaurant on the Strand in central London during the second national lockdown earlier this month

Mr Caring singled out as particularly vulnerable the cities of Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol ‘where the hospitality industry, hanging on by its finger nails, was hoping to be able to make some income in their most busy weeks of the year.’

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