Robin Hutson has called for hotel residents dining in hotel restaurants to be exempt from the 10pm curfew in a letter to the prime minister.
In the letter, the chairman and chief executive of Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group said even a rule of last orders by 10pm and making exemption for all restaurants with less than 100 covers would be "simple tweaks" to the rules that "won't cost lives, but they will save many jobs in hospitality and the jobs that depend on hospitality".
The government has said the curfew will come into place tomorrow, and in doing so, Hutson said "the government has seriously damaged a huge number of small, safe (particularly rural) hospitality businesses without realising it".
Hutson argued that his portfolio of seven Pig hotels, as well as the Lime Wood hotel in the New Forest, has over the last three months welcomed approximately 250,000 guests and employs 1,000 staff, and yet he is not aware of a single case of Covid resulting from those interactions.
He argued on behalf of small rural operators, which he said are strictly obeying the guidelines and rely heavily on food and beverage revenue, but are seeing bookings cancelled now that they will need to force many residents to have dinner earlier. He said: "They are not the problem. There is no need or justification to scoop them up in such a broad hospitality restricting umbrella".
He added: "I am speaking up for rural hospitality and the smaller hospitality operators, who are hanging on by the skin of their teeth at the moment. For them the 10pm curfew is just another unnecessary nail in the coffin."