For hospitality businesses located in Tiers 1,2 and 3 the fallout from the PM’s announcement to place London and surrounding areas in Tier 4 has been immense.
The timing for hotels could not have been worse, many of which had substantial bookings throughout the festive period. To cater for guests preparations were in place, rooms readied, decorations and fresh flowers adorned every guest experience, food and drink a plenty bought to aid celebrations.
All preparations and orders were then suddenly and instantaneously made redundant when the PM declared Christmas for all intents and purposes cancelled, new measures and wider guidelines all but eliminating travel options.
The announcement did not include any impact assessment to the UK economy or any Government measures to lessen it, let alone deal with the direct fallout from their decisions.
Throughout the pandemic this year, hospitality has been on the front line of its impact, all too many viable businesses are no more and hundreds of thousands of people enjoying viable jobs now unemployed.
Only last week on a visit to Wiltshire I witnessed first-hand safe hospitality provided with meticulous care by Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa. Every member of staff advising guests of all safety measures in place and wearing a face covering. Social distancing had re designed the hotel and every component part of it. Chairs and tables had been removed from lounge areas and dining rooms. When the restaurant manager greeted Lucknam Park’s Chairman and I he also advised as we were from separate households we had to sit at separate adjoining tables for lunch. All Covid safety protocols were executed with meticulous precision, with no exceptions including Chairman, Harry Murray MBE.
During lunch we discussed the pandemic and specifically the economic impact on Lucknam Park. Murray explained that all guidelines had been followed at all times to the letter, with the safety of guests being paramount. The economic consequence of this had been reduced capacity but investment in safety had bought the ability to continue trading in safe hospitality. Murray was looking forward to the festive season with Lucknam Park at full, Covid safe, capacity.
We then spoke on Sunday after the PM’s announcement and I learned that 100% bookings had diminished to 20% overnight.
The advent of the new strain of Covid-19 and the health risks associated with it make the new safety guidelines from Government understandable. At the same time, the economic ramifications also need to be addressed.
Hospitality businesses need to be fully compensated by Government for the impact from a pandemic they are a victim of.
Let’s all hope that the UK’s third biggest employer contributing circa £160 billion to the UK economy succeeds with the petition to Parliament to approve the appointment of a Minister for Hospitality, we need one.
If you have not added your name to the petition please do so here, and encourage everyone you know that enjoys hospitality to do the same.
Hospitality & Catering News: Tiers 1,2 and 3 suffering fallout from Tier 4 call on a Minister for Hospitality. – 22 December 2020 – Tiers 1,2 and 3 suffering fallout from Tier 4 call on a Minister for Hospitality.
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