The Forum of British Pubs have been active throughout the course of the pandemic in regards to its effect on the hospitality sector. We were one of the first to point out that, in the case of regulated pub tenants, most of the government’s 25k grant package was going to the pub companies. This grant package was used to pay rent and bills for the products tenanted pubs have to buy through these companies because of the tie, often with a hefty margin added.
We are also pointing out the activities of Business Development Managers (BDMs) promoting the use of bounce back loans, often to pubs who are already in debt as a means of paying their regulated pub company owners.
Following a recent survey we carried out to over 500 publicans, 57% said their BDM suggested they take out a government backed loan, and that they should use it to pay outstanding rent from the rent break during lockdown.
What is for certain is that many pubs and bars are struggling with the restrictions that government has put in place, the 10pm curfew is causing particular frustration. This decision seems to have no intelligent basis that anyone in government seems able to explain other than to state that this approach has been deployed in Europe, where the drinking culture is completely different, as is the weather in many cases.
Pubs and bars are putting all the required safety procedures in place; track and trace, hygiene and cleaning, social distancing, table service and wearing of protective clothing and masks. These measures are all aimed at keeping staff and customers safe. This way of working is labour intensive and set against a background of less customers, shorter hours, and the inevitable hit to cash flow. If you are in a location impacted by the higher alert level tier, you may get some support, but many will not and wet led outlets or those with limited indoor space are very vulnerable!
With this in mind many of our members are starting to ask advice on making staff redundant. It’s a difficult decision that no one wants to have to make and getting this process legally correct is absolutely essential. Hospitality employers need to know what to do and how to do it and this is where our years of experience in dealing with employment issues comes in really useful.
To help pubs and brewers get this process right, we have produced a guide aimed specifically at the hospitality sector, giving publicans and bar owners all the help they are likely to need at a difficult time. Our guide is packed with useful, practical information as well as several templates to make the whole process as simple and efficient as possible.
The guide is free to all our members and, if you need further assistance, the advice is also fully supported by our helpline which is provided as part of annual Forum membership. If you haven’t already received your free copy, please contact our team.
For non members, the guide is available to buy as a single digital download or together with a printed copy (usually delivered within 5 days).
Don’t struggle alone, you have enough on your plate at the moment. If you need more support, contact us today on 01565 626056 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.