Jeremy King calls for industry to 'get more demanding' as sales halve under restrictions
Corbin & King co-founder Jeremy King has said sales in his West End restaurants had fallen by 50% yesterday, less than a week after different households were banned from socialising indoors in London.
The capital was placed under Tier 2 (high) restrictions last weekend, placing further barriers on the operations of restaurants.
King, who said Corbin & King had served more than 250,000 guests across the Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel, Colbert, Fischer's and Soutine since 4 July without a single notification of infection, warned that the industry was confronting a drop of 75% in turnover and 750,000 job losses due to the lack of support from government.
He has called for the industry to "get more demanding" in the face of the restrictions and the imminent move to the "unworkable and too expensive" Job Support Scheme.
He said: "The problem with Tier 2 is that it is the worst of both worlds as we are left in ‘no man's land' with our clientele discouraged to come but no compensatory help from the government. What will really determine the survival of restaurants is establishing whether the government really cares about us and also admit their mistakes on all the peripheral idiocies that make restaurateuring nigh impossible: curfew, congestion charges, and the congestion inducing street barriers to name a few."
He continued: "It is time for us to get more demanding. For instance, one of the many questions I would ask Boris Johnson is why we still need a curfew under the new restrictions? For my sector the fact that we have no ministerial representation in parliament asking these questions is indicative of the contempt that we are held in across many of the departments – not least the Home Office."
A petition calling for hospitality to be given representation in parliament can be signed here. The Caterer's Can the Curfew petition can be signed here.