Greene King is reportedly set to close dozens of pubs and axe 800 jobs, as the hospitality industry is left devastated by the Government’s new 10pm curfew.
Sources close to the company, which has almost 1,700 pubs and 1,000 tenanted venues across the UK, have revealed bosses have started redundancy talks with 800 employees.
They claim 79 of Greene King’s pubs and restaurants will shut, with roughly one-third of the closures expected to be permanent.
Greene King, which is Britain’s largest pub retailer and brewer, currently employs 38,000 people across the country. It is hoped some workers will be redeployed where possible, Sky News reports.
It comes after hospitality business owners claimed the industry faced ‘complete decimation’, with ‘up to 540,000 jobs’ at risk in total.
One in four hospitality business owners believe they could fail by the end of the year, with trade bodies warning one in eight workers have already been made redundant.
In a recent statement, Nick Mackenzie, Greene King’s chief executive, said the industry was ‘still dealing with the crippling aftereffects of the nationwide lockdown and the cumulative effect of the new restrictions’.
Accusing the Government of ‘singling out pubs’, he said Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new scheme ‘doesn’t go far enough’ to help struggling businesses and workers.
He added: ‘With Public Health England figures showing only 5% of all outbreaks are linked to hospitality, it feels like pubs are being unfairly targeted when there is little evidence that they enable the spread of Covid-19.’
Other pub groups including Young’s and Fullers are also currently in the process of cutting large numbers of workers.
The prime minister refused to commit to publishing the ‘scientific basis’ for the curfew when questioned by Labour leader Keir Starmer on Wednesday.
He said: ‘The basis on which we set out the curtailment on hospitality was the basis on which he accepted it two weeks ago! And that is to reduce the spread of the virus.’
Greene King, Loch Fyne Restaurants
Actu monde – GB – Dozens of Greene King pubs ‘to shut for good’ as 10pm curfew decimates industry