Published: 13:42, 01 October 2020
| Updated: 13:44, 01 October 2020
Shepherd Neame’s boss says redundancies “look inevitable” due to the 10pm curfew restrictions.
Chief executive of the Faversham firm, Jonathan Neame - who has penned a message to customers urging them to support their local pubs - hopes to keep job losses to a minimum.
“We are proud that we have not made redundancies so far,” he said.
“But these new restrictions continue to impact the full operation of the business and will make it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to perform certain functions. It is with great regret, therefore, that some job losses now look inevitable.
“We will strive to keep this to a minimum and to look after our teams to the best of our ability and protect the company for the long term.
“As we go through the next six months, we encourage you to continue to support your local. Please remember that every pint, every meal, every overnight stay, every cup of coffee purchased will not only help to protect the future of your community’s pub but also help to protect jobs. “
In his message, Mr Neame assures customers that pubs are “safe and the home of responsible socialising”. He says trading for most venues had been better than expected since July - and the majority have begun edging their way back to profitability.
An open letter from 100 major hospitality firms has been sent to no.10 calling on Boris Johnson to rethink the rule.
Critics have pointed out that pub-goers are spilling out en masse and crowding onto public transport or gathering in the street.
Last week, Mr Neame blasted the government’s curfew plan and suggested the hospitality industry was being thrown under the bus.
“We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that through this crisis, more people have died from flu and pneumonia than have died of Covid,” he said.
“We have to determine what is a proportionate risk we are prepared to take in our lives rather than destroying the fundamentals of our society.”