PUBS and restaurants including Wetherspoons are being forced to close venues due to self-isolating workers.
A raft of businesses have shut their doors to punters because staff are being told to stay home by the NHS Covid app – leaving boozers too short-staffed to open.
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Covid rules mean everyone has to check-in with the NHS Covid app or hand over personal details when visiting a boozer or restaurant.
The app tells people if they have been in close contact with someone who turns out to have coronavirus, sending out an alert advising self-isolation.
Many hospitality workers who come into close contact with a lot of different people due to the nature of the job are being told to stay at home by the app.
It’s left businesses short-staffed and some boozers have had to close because they don’t have enough people to cover shifts.
Restaurant, food chain, and pub job losses
A NUMBER of high-profile restaurant, pub, and food chains have announced job cuts following the coronavirus crisis.
- Zizzi owner Azzurri Group announced in July 2020 that it would permanently shut 75 branches, putting 1,200 jobs at risk
- Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group has proposed closing 125 branches, with 3,000 jobs on the line
- Byron Burger is shutting 31 restaurants, around half of its UK sites, with 600 jobs at risk
- Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge have announced the closure of 91 restaurants, with 1,900 jobs to go
- Carluccio’s is cutting 1,000 jobs with 40 restaurants to shut
- Costa Coffee is axing 1,650 jobs – it hasn’t announced any store closures at this stage
- GBK is closing 26 restaurants and making 362 workers redundant
- Greene King has shut 26 sites permanently, while a further 53 will temporarily close with their future remaining in the balance. Around 800 staff across the 79 sites are at risk of losing their jobs.
- Marston’s pub chain says 2,150 staff are at risk of being made redundant or facing significantly fewer hours
- Pizza Express has confirmed it’ll be closing 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk
- Pret a Manger is cutting 2,800 jobs with 30 stores to close
- Revolution Bars is planning to close six sites putting 130 jobs at risk
- Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
- Wetherspoons is planning to cut 450 jobs from six pubs, as well as 130 head office roles.
- Whitbread (which owns Brewers Fayre, Premier Inn and Beefeater) is planning to cut 6,000 jobs as hotel demand slumps.
- Young’s is making 500 out of 4,200 staff redundant.
Last week, 46 Wetherspoons staff working at the chain’s Cabot Court Hotel branch in Weston-Super-Mare were told to self-isolate by the app.
Other boozers have had to shut too because of self-isolation alerts, which are part of the government’s rules for managing the spread of the virus.
Pub rules in place designed to protect staff and punters also include the wearing of masks, screens and table service only.
Mark Derry, from restaurant business New World Trading Company in Cheshire, told the Financial Times that all the company’s pubs have so far lost out on 35 days of trading from four of its 29 venues, calling it “complete chaos”.
While other boozers, such as Lu Ban Restaurant and Bar in Liverpool, have been left without staff at short notice, according to Mail Online.
Dave Critchley, Lu Ban executive chef and director, said: “We lost five people over the weekend at minimal notice after they were pinged by the app.”
It marks a blow to cash-strapped hospitality businesses, which are desperately trying to get back money lost due to the Covid crisis.
Pubs, bars and restaurants were forced to close for months when the third national lockdown started in January.
They have reopened gradually since April 12 when outside service was allowed, and inside service resumed on May 17.
But the delay to restrictions lifting in full from June 12 to July 19 means that staff still have to self-isolate if they get an alert.
The delay also means many pubs and bars are still operating at lower capacities than before the pandemic and table service requires more man power.
The industry has also struggled to hire staff back with shortages also leaving boozers short.
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Wetherspoons revealed a major menu changes as its Steak Club, Curry Club and Fish Fridays have been extended to seven days a week
The popular pub chain reopened 860 of its pubs on May 17, with full menus returning.
But six locations remain closed and won’t be opening their doors just yet.