SOLIHULL HOSPITALITY OWNERS REACT TO LATEST COVID-19 MEASURES

From Today all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table service only (except for takeaways), while a 10pm curfew has also been introduced.

Sam Morgan, group chief executive of We Are Craft Limited, said: “The good news is that the impact is less than what potentially could have been imposed – for example the measures still allow for people to dine in respect of the rule of six.

“In times of struggle it’s paramount that we can try and adapt and ask our guests for their assistance in adapting to support such matters only then can the hospitality sector survive the wave that it is currently riding.”

Anne-Marie Simpson, owner and director of Simpsons Gin Bar in Sutton Coldfield, said: “The hospitality sector has and, I’m sure, will continue to take the health and safety of our teams and customers of primary importance.

“The difficulty is that with a reducing furlough scheme, no let-up on rent levels and statutory payments at the same levels as based upon previous income levels, viability teeters dangerously for us.

“What we need now is more help – both with furlough to avoid further job losses and discussion with landlords and statutory service providers to reduce costs for the same period as these new measures are in force. These can’t be deferrals or loans we need a recognised grant or re-balancing of rent to reflect the new economic reality.”

Solihull Chamber of Commerce president Robert Elliot, who chairs the Solihull Tourism Forum, said: “Hospitality reopened on 4 July under strict guidelines and has excelled in delivering great service in challenging circumstances. Confidence is key, and customers have felt safe, and supported their local businesses accordingly.

“Today’s measures are to be expected, but are nonetheless unfortunate.  Essentially businesses will be taking last orders at 8pm or 8.30pm. This will have profound effects on revenues, and with that, reduced hours, and subsequently job losses, not to mention the supply chain with reduced orders. Solihull and the Midlands is blessed with and relies upon a fantastic hospitality sector.  That sector looks to the authorities for support.”

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