HospoDemo prepares for second protest as Government 'makes a scapegoat' of hospitality

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Chefs Cettina Tumasella and Mamma Sara from restaurant La Mia Mamma at the first HospoDemo protest in October
Chefs Cettina Tumasella and Mamma Sara from restaurant La Mia Mamma at the first HospoDemo protest in October

Related tags Coronavirus lockdown London Protest HospoDemo

A second hospitality demonstration in Parliament Square is to take place early next month to protest the tougher restrictions set to be imposed on the sector by Government next week.

Describing the new measures​, which will see operators across the country forced to miss out on trade over the vital Christmas period​, as being the 'final straw' for many hospitality businesses, HospoDemo says the protest will take place on Monday 7 December at 11am‬.

In a statement posted to Instagram​, HospoDemo organisers said: "Just as we were gearing up to reopen our businesses, the new tier restrictions ‪from December 2 make hospitality the scapegoat once again.

"The loss of vital Christmas trade will be the final straw for many restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels hoping to survive into 2021.

"Add on ever-increasing rent debt, amongst other costs, and the future is frightening for tens of thousands of businesses and their employees.

"While the furlough scheme is enabling hospitality workers to make ends meet, their jobs simply won’t exist once their employers’ businesses."

Echoing voices from across the hospitality sector​, HospoDemo pointed to recent Public Health England figures that show just 2% of Covid transmissions can be traced back to hospitality settings.

"The UK government thinks it’s safer to go to a gym, stand in a busy supermarket queue, go Christmas shopping or watch a game of football with 4,000 fans. 

"[It] can’t have it both ways: HOSPITALITY NEEDS EITHER FEWER RESTRICTIONS OR MORE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT before the unthinkable happens.

"Make your voice heard at Parliament Square ‪on Monday 7 ‪December at 11am‬, for the second round of HospoDemo.

"Bring the tools of your trade to make as much noise as possible, so those making the decisions that are killing our industry hear us loud and clear."

HospoDemo was founded by Rachel Harty, a long-standing industry marketer.

The first protest (pictured), which took place in early October​, saw 600-odd members of the hospitality trade call on the Government to review its policies relating to hospitality venues, both in terms of restrictions and industry specific support.

Many of London's leading chefs joined the protest including Yotam Ottolenghi; The Harwood Arms head chef Sally Abé; Jason Atherton; St John co-founder Fergus Henderson; Drake & Morgan CEO Jillian MacLean; Tom Aikens; and Rochelle Canteen owner Margot Henderson.

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