Pubs and restaurants are being decimated by Covid uncertainty

The run up to Christmas is normally a merry time for the hospitality industry. Our nation’s restaurants, pubs and bars are usually bursting at the seams. Most people are out celebrating with their family, friends and colleagues – with crackers being pulled, pigs in blankets served and a glass or two of mulled wine drunk under the mistletoe. Yet, the exact opposite is happening right now for the hospitality industry in the UK. Instead it’s the nightmare before Christmas. Ever since people in Britain have been told to work from home by the government and told to cut back on socialising by chief medical officer Chris Whitty, pubs and restaurants have

The roadmap paints a grim picture for business

As the Prime Minister announced the details of his government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown in the Commons on Monday, no doubt some will have been cheering on the announcements, which will allow them to keep their pre-planned parties or holidays scheduled in their diaries. But the timeline has painted a grim picture for business in the months to come. According to the timetable, we are nearly two months away from outdoor dining being made legal again, and three months away from a return to indoor dining. While non-essential retail and personal care premises (including hair and nail salons) are billed to open on 12 April, social distancing measures look set to

What can pubs serve as a ‘substantial meal’?

When the new tiered restrictions come into force this week, many pubs and bars around the country will be wondering if they can keep their doors open. While Tier 3 venues have effectively been forced to close, pubs in Tier 2 (which covers around 50 per cent of England) have been told they can only serve alcohol to customers alongside a ‘substantial meal’. But what counts as substantial? Environment minister George Eustice attempted to clarify this on LBC radio this morning, when he suggested that a scotch egg would probably count, as long as it was brought over on a plate.  But Mr Steerpike has noticed that ministers seemed to