Operators' plea: follow the restrictions to prevent hospitality being targeted

21 September 2020 by
Operators' plea: follow the restrictions to prevent hospitality being targeted

Operators desperate to avoid a second lockdown have issued pleas for the public and wider sector to abide by government restrictions and the ‘rule of six', in a bid to prevent hospitality being penalised.

Sam Harrison, owner of Sam's Riverside in Hammersmith, London, said: "We're all in this together and I think we all have a responsibility to follow the rules to reduce the chance of further lockdowns.

"My reason for following the guidelines, and even going beyond them, is that I cannot afford for my business to close again. If we have to close again, we'll probably go bust and my 40 staff will be out of a job so I'm going to do everything humanly possible to prevent that."

Harrison said customers had told him of restaurants failing to adhere to restrictions, particularly those around the ‘rule of six'.

He added: "When X, Y and Z restaurants are not doing their bit, it's very easy for the press to pick up on, very easy for ministers and the government to pick up on and also it's just fundamentally wrong. This is a horrible situation for all of us, but we have a shared responsibility."

On Monday morning the industry hit back at claims made by health secretary Matt Hancock that Covid-19 was being spread in hospitality venues, saying figures published by Public Health England disputed his narrative.

The prime minister will confirm a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants this evening along with a package of measures, following reports a second lockdown has been considered.

Michael Caines, of the Caines Collection, which includes the five-AA-star hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, Devon, said it is imperative businesses have policies in place to keep customers safe if the industry is to make further representations to government.

He called for firm guidelines, particularly around the use of face coverings, that are applicable to all. He explained: "I am surprised that there's been a lack of clear guidance for the industry and more importantly worried that quite established establishments have a very lackadaisical approach when it comes to PPE and enforcing strict routines.

"I think it's incumbent upon all of us in the industry to recognise the issues within the situation and do our bit. If we don't do that we can hardly complain when we're forced to close early or close completely.

"I've heard the industry talking about the need to increase the furlough scheme and of course businesses do need help, but if you're asking for help you've also got to listen, learn and take responsibility. That culture is set from above."

Kit Chapman, owner of the Castle hotel in Taunton, Somerset, told The Caterer it also needs to be incumbent on the public to do their bit.

He added: "The industry is doing its damndest to make it all work and people just have to learn to follow the rules. There is still going to be a problem unless people learn how to be safe in terms of the way they keep their social distancing in pubs and restaurants.

"The hospitality sector has the horrendous problem of trying to police it, but we can only go so far because we have no powers to stop it. We do our best. But late at night it can get difficult in some areas."

Photo: Shutterstock

Continue reading

You need to create an account to read this article. It's free and only requires a few basic details.

Already subscribed?

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking