As the situation surrounding Covid-19 continues, there are few people watching the headlines roll in as closely as those in the hospitality industry. Restaurants, bars and pubs are powered by people – no digital presence can make up for that. There has been some relief since Friday’s mandate shutting pubs and restaurants, which many see as an improvement on the limbo of the week before when Boris Johnson encouraged people to stay away from local watering holes and eateries without formally closing them down.
However, despite this and the pledge to meet 80% of the wage costs of workers “furloughed”, or temporarily sent home, those in the hospitality industry remain cut off from their work and, for many, their passion. We here at Restaurant Property understand that feeling, having been a proud part of London’s food and drink scene for twenty years. We stand in absolute solidarity with the restaurant owners, chefs, waitstaff and myriad others involved in this exceptional business.
London has seen its fair share of adversity, even in the last 150 years, and few things represent its resilience more than the city’s restaurants and pubs. Local boozers suffered through the Blitz and restaurants made do with what they could from the meagre rations during wartime. This is a very different crisis, one that is totally unprecedented, but that will nonetheless show the indomitable spirit of the places that give London its character and feed its people. Pubs and restaurants will be where morale revives when all this is over.
Until then, we must show our support by ordering from kitchens that are still open and campaigning for workers who no longer have jobs. Hospitality Action has launched a one-off emergency Covid-19 grant scheme of £250 per household to support eligible hospitality workers experiencing financial issues due to coronavirus and Guinness has pledged £1million to support bar staff. These acts of solidarity are incredible, but ultimately the Government must make sure this essential industry is preserved so we can recover from this together.
In the spirit of that togetherness, if you would like to chat, get anything off your chest or just share your thinking about what to do next, we are here to listen, support and advise. Call us on +44 (0)20 7935 2222 to have a chat with one of the team – now, more than ever, let’s keep talking.
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