Newswire - 29 September

29 September 2020Newswire Topics: Hotels & Guest Houses, Leisure & Nightclubs, Liverpool, Manchester, Pubs & Bars, Rental, Restaurants
Newswire - 29 September

New government restrictions

Pubs must close (not call last orders) at 10pm and operate with table service only (no standing at the bar). Face coverings must be worn by customers in indoor hospitality venues (except when seated at a table to eat or drink). Office workers are told to work from home where they can. Measures could be in place for six months.

Chancellors new support measures don't go far enough

The creation of a Job Support Scheme and the extension of the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality businesses isn't enough, say trade leaders. He didn't extend Business Rates relief or the cut on VAT beyond March 2021 and he didn't provide a more meaningful and targeted furlough scheme for the hospitality industry. The damage working from home, curfews, local lockdowns and the rule of 6 will far exceed the support being offered.

The pick of the comments:

Hugh Osmond "Shutting down pubs when outbreaks are in care homes is like amputating a leg because you have lung cancer. Pointless, destructive, illogical."

Luke Johnson "Pubs are a soft target - politicians, civil servants and SAGE scientists think they are for common people, not their highly educated chums."

Rob Pitcher, (Revolution CEO) "The 10pm curfew is a killer. No one was out on the streets last night. It's likely lots of socialising is taking place in houses so infections will continue to rise and no relaxation of the measures will be possible - as per Manchester, which is now seven weeks in."

Public Health England's data shows where transmissions are happening. 43% in care homes. 26% schools/universities. Only 4.6% in restaurants/food outlets."

Gusto secures approval for CVA:

The 18-strong Italian casual dining group has secured approval for its company voluntary agreement (CVA) proposal. The proposals were supported by 98% of creditors. The restaurants in York, Lytham, Leamington Spa and Mere Green in the West Midlands, will close permanently.

Stonegate (EI) extends tenant support package

Stonegates' lease and tenanted business - The Ei Publican Partnerships - is offering increased support including rent reductions of 30% in October and 20% in November for tied publicans operating substantive agreements in England.

Thai Leisure Group's CVA approved

The operator of Thaikhun and Chaophraya, has had its proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA) approved by creditors. It is understood the proposal involves the closure of Thaikhun Street Bar in Liverpool ONE and agreeing new rental levels on the majority of its 18 sites.

Chilango acquired out of administration for £1m

The Mexican restaurant chain has been acquired by investment group RD Capital Partners. The deal for 10 of Chilango's 11 restaurants preserved over 130 jobs.

And Finally...

Mitchells & Butlers report on sales. We have been trading for 11 weeks and have reopened 95% of the estate. In July like-for-like sales declined by 32.4%. During August, with EOTHO sales grew 1.4%. Trading in the first three weeks of September declined of 6.4% (prior to the introduction of additional trading restrictions this week).

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Graeme Bunn

Graeme Bunn

Managing Director

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