Christmas trade plunges as businesses report cancellations in the hundreds

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Christmas trade plunges as businesses report cancellations in the hundreds

Related tags Plan B lockdown Hospitality Tom kerridge Sally Abe Fred Sirieix

Restaurants and pubs are reporting huge numbers of cancellations over the past few days as a result of the Government’s announcement of its Plan B to deal with the Omicron Coronavirus variant.

Chef and restaurateur Tom Kerridge revealed that 654 diners had cancelled their bookings over the past six days at just one of his restaurants – amounting to more than 100 cancellations a day.

In a social post on Instagram, Kerridge, who runs venues including the two Michelin-starred restaurant The Hand & Flowers and The Coach in Marlow and Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in Westminster, called on the Government for financial support to help businesses struggling with the sudden loss of business.

“This is the list of cancellations taken in one of our restaurants in the past six days…. 654 guests. I completely understand why and have no problem with them letting us know,” he wrote.

“Public health is THE most important thing. The problem is what will the government do to support the hospitality industry? Many places are going to crumble without help…."

"And before some gammon faced idiot says “you can afford it fat lad!” ….. yes I probably can, but this isn’t about me or my restaurants. It’s about our industry and people’s livelihoods.”

Responding to Kerridge’s message, The Five Fields restaurant in Chelsea said it had received 42 cancellations in the past two days, a significant number for the 30-cover restaurant.

Also taking to social media, chef Sally Abe said that The Blue Boar Pub in The Conrad London St James Hotel in Westminster, which she oversees alongside The Pem restaurant, received 110 cancellations yesterday (14 December).

Lazy Lounge in Leeds, which is located in the business district of the city, has reported that every single group booking has been cancelled between now and Christmas. It said it would now be closing early during what would traditionally be one of the busiest times of the year because of a lack of office workers as a result of the Government reintroducing its work from home message.

Commenting on Twitter about the issue the hospitality sector is facing, Fred Sirieix said that the cancellations would have a knock-on effect of employment issues in the New Year.

““The tsunami of cancellations in #hospitality​ is going to be catastrophic for the industry. Staff will lose their job and income between now and January without any hope of getting a new one. Not only that but I fear this will increase the staff shortage even further.”

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