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  • Pubs pledge to continue actively helping Government manage COVID-19, but warn new restrictions will halt their recovery without further support

    09 September 2020

    BBPA responds to Prime Minister’s announcement on social gathering changes and mandatory use of test and trace  The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on the changes to social gathering rules that will affect pubs. In his speech, the Prime Minister confirmed that the maximum number of people who can gather together will reduce from thirty to six, although this will exclude single households and support bubbles consisting already of more than six people and some exclusions. The Prime Minister also announced the mandatory use of test and trace by hospitality businesses. Responding to the announcement on the changes to social gatherings, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “It is understandable that the Government are concerned about the recent rise in COVID cases. This concern is recognised by our sector and we will play an active role in helping Government manage this rise in infections by continuing to adhere to the current guidelines as well as embracing the new ones. “It is important to understand that the changes to social gatherings announced today will have an immediate cooling effect on public confidence to go out and visit our pubs. And will have a direct impact on trade that will be felt hard across an industry that is already struggling to get back on its feet. At such a delicate point in our recovery after a steady start this summer, as we head into Autumn and Winter where we expect trade to already slow down, this is very concerning. “With the announcements made today pubs and breweries will need much more support from the Government if they are to survive. An extension on business rates relief, continuation of the VAT cut to food and soft drinks, a sector specific furlough extension and a significant beer duty cut are needed now. These measures, along with the welcomed compensation for businesses closed as a result of local lockdowns announced earlier today by The Treasury, will help pubs survive, protect jobs and ensure they can continue to serve our communities. “Without this support from Government, and a clear message that pubs remain open for business and that the public should support them, our sector is in for a very rough end to an already devastating year. “It fully remains the case that, by following the existing guidelines, pubs remain an entirely safe place for people to meet up at. To reopen every pub had to complete a risk assessment and put measures in place to ensure the safety of customers. With these measures in place, and pubs’ active participation in test and trace, pub goers can rest assured they are safe.”   In response to the mandatory participation of NHS test and trace in pubs and hospitality businesses across England, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “As one of the few sectors actively participating in test and trace, pubs have already been fully playing their part to ensure people follow the safety guidelines and contain the spread of the virus. “Our sector will continue to play a leading role in supporting test and trace and all our members and the overwhelming majority of pubs across the UK are already using the test and trace system. In fact, pubs have been commended by Matt Hancock and Public Health England for their diligence and proactivity in working with NHS test and trace in England. “We implore any pub not confident on if they are following the existing or new rules correctly to get in touch with us or one of the many trade associations out there who will be happy to help. “Of course, it is important to remember that pub customers have a key role to play too in following the rules, and this means fully participating with test and trace.”  

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  • BBPA responds to changes to social gatherings

    09 September 2020

    Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "This announcement came as a surprise, but it is clear that the Government are concerned about the recent rise in COVID cases. We need to fully assess the detail of the new restrictions when the Prime Minister speaks later today. As one of the few sectors participating in track and trace the pub sector has been fully playing it’s part in ensuring people follow guidance to contain the spread of the virus up to this point and we will continue to do so. "The impact of these new announcements can have a cooling effect on public confidence. This restriction comes at a delicate point in our pub recovery after a steady start this summer. We were already worried about levels of trade moving into Autumn and Winter. Pubs will need more support from Government with continued business rates relief, VAT cuts and flexible furlough, as well as a significant cut in beer duty to help them survive, protect jobs and continue to serve communities. We need the Government to send the clear message that pubs remain open for business and the public should continue to support them."

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  • Eat Out to Help Out Scheme hands £250 million back to Government whilst saving thousands of jobs

    08 September 2020

    Trade bodies reveal new data showing direct financial benefit to Government of Scheme and boost to hospitality sector Trade bodies the British Beer & Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and UKHospitality have revealed new data today showing that the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme directly benefitted the Government to the tune of £250 million, whilst also saving thousands of jobs in the pub and hospitality sector. The new data follows figures announced by the Government last week which revealed that a total of 130,000 claims were received for the Scheme equating to a cost of £522 million for the Government, with further claims still to be made. However, with the Scheme directly contributing £250 million in additional revenue for the Government, as well as boosting consumer confidence to go back again and enjoy the hospitality sector going forwards, the scheme has already delivered a significant return. According to the data from the trade associations, the Scheme enabled 200,000 staff in the pub and hospitality sector to come out of furlough early to facilitate the increase in trade generated by the initiative. This alone saved the Government almost £150 million in furlough costs. VAT generated on additional food and soft drink sales from the Scheme generated £30 million for the Treasury and additional sales of alcoholic drinks that accompanied the meals was estimated to have boosted duty and VAT revenues by a further £65 million. The trade bodies said the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme had shown a significant return on investment for the Government, whilst also helping to kick start the long road to recovery of the hospitality sector and the economy as a whole as it returns from lockdown. They said further Government investment in the sector was still needed though to get it through the Autumn months and to help ensure a full recovery into the new year. They called for further Government investment in the sector to boost growth by extending the reduction on VAT rates, reforming Business Rates and cutting beer duty ahead of the next Budget and upcoming Government reviews into Business Rates and Alcohol Duty.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme has clearly been a success for the Government, pubs and hospitality alike. It has saved tens of thousands of jobs, helped with the recovery of the economy and boosted our sector at a much needed time. “Investing in our sector clearly delivers, and we still need further support from the Government if it is to fully recover like we know it can. With the upcoming Autumn Budget, as well as the Business Rates Review, now is an unparalleled time to greatly reduce beer duty, Business Rates and VAT in our sector to give it the significant boost it needs to survive and thrive. Now is the time for the Government to continue investing in our sector to deliver a strong recovery and job security.”   Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “Eat Out to Help Out was a shot in the arm for consumer confidence in eating and drinking out of home, right across the country. It gave our businesses the opportunity to showcase the investment they had made to keep customers safe while also making them feel welcome. “As we approach Winter we need to ensure the right support in place to stimulate a more sustained demand. A significant starting point would be to extend the VAT cut, ensuring the business rates holiday is continued next year and getting more of the UK economy back on its feet, including those businesses that remain closed.”   Steve Alton, Chief Executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping, said: “Strengthening consumer confidence has been critical to kick-starting the recovery of the hospitality sector, as well as the wider economy.  The Government investment in Eat Out to Help Out and reduced VAT has allowed many pubs to start their recovery with a better than expected August trading. “Further Government support will be required building on this investment to ensure pubs are sustainable businesses in the long term.”

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  • BBPA calls for Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to be repeated 

    21 August 2020

      Trade Association hails Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, which is due to end after August, as great success for food led pubs More support still needed though for ‘wet led’ pubs who do not benefit  The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today called on the Government to repeat its Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The trade association has hailed the Scheme, which is set to end after August, as a great success for many of its member’s food led pubs, noting that it has boosted their Monday to Wednesday trade. The benefit of the Scheme to the recovery of some pubs and the wider hospitality sector – amongst the largest employers in the UK – has been immeasurable in terms of securing jobs and building consumer confidence, according to the BBPA. It said repeating the scheme, particularly as we approach typically quieter months for the trade post-Summer, would significantly help the sector. The trade association did note that although pubs serving food had greatly benefitted from the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, ‘wet led’ pubs – those who predominantly only serve drinks and bar snacks – are not benefitting from the Scheme in the same way and so still need further support from Government to help them.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “The Government should definitely repeat the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. “It has provided a much-needed boost to sales in the early week for some of our sector as it tries to recover. That boost to the pub and wider hospitality sector – amongst the largest employers in the UK – is much needed and will help secure jobs and build consumer confidence. “Repeating the scheme, particularly as we approach quieter months for trade, would be a significant help. “However, it still remains the case that ‘wet led’ pubs – those who predominantly just serve drinks and bar snacks – don’t benefit from the Scheme and so still need further support from the Government elsewhere. With the upcoming Autumn Budget and Alcohol Duty Review, as well as the Business Rates Review, this should be in the form of significant cuts to Beer Duty and Business Rates.”  

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  • The critical importance of engaging our customers in Covid secure practices: An open letter to the pub sector

    18 August 2020

    Test and Trace is a key part of maintaining customer confidence and cementing pubs as being responsible traders as mitigation of the pandemic continues. The impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry has been dramatic and far reaching. When we closed our doors in March, we had no idea how, or indeed if, we would weather this storm. Since then, together with other key industry bodies we have collaborated to ensure the collective voices and challenges of those we represent were taken to Government, leaving them in no doubt about the full impact of the pandemic on our sector and the support therefore required to sustain pubs through this period.   We believe that your hard work and dedication in ensuring you have reopened your businesses safely, both for your team members and your customers, along with the support packages that have been secured, has enabled a positive and welcome return to trading for the majority of pubs in recent weeks.   We have all independently surveyed our members to ensure we are aware of the challenges facing you at every stage, and we therefore know that one of the most important factors impacting business survival during this period continues to be Consumer Confidence. The Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) scheme has therefore been a real boost in encouraging nervous consumers to visit pubs and restaurants where they may have otherwise stayed at home.   Report data taken from the Yumpingo and CGA campaign “We hear you”, reveals that nearly 80% of consumers make their choice about which venue they will visit, based on the precautionary COVID-19 measures those businesses have put in place. Initial nervousness about venturing out to eat and drink is decreasing, with also 40% of customers visiting venues completely new to them.  Engaging customers with clear communication on new layouts and ways of working is at the heart of their confidence and unfortunately some businesses are not hitting the expectations of their customers.   In the Customer Sentiment Tracker produced by KAM Media in association with Feed It Back, there has been a small but steady decline in the satisfaction felt by customers since reopening. Some venues however, continue to score very highly, showing that the right approach is winning consumers over. With initial confidence dwindling however, those not doing everything they can to reassure their customers with COVID-19 measures, could stand to lose out to those who are.   Proactively engaging all of your customers in our venues’ new ways of working has now clearly become a business critical issue.  Without high levels of customer confidence supporting trade now and critically building momentum moving forward, we will not see the ongoing revenues that will be needed to sustain many of our venues.   Test & Trace is a key part of this. The vast majority of consumers are willing to give their contact details, yet there remains considerable variation from business to business around the procedures for how these details are taken.  A robust procedure, not only enables the NHS to identify and quickly limit the spread of any COVID-19 outbreaks, but is also essential in underpinning continued consumer confidence in hospitality as a sector.   With face coverings mandatory in all other public areas from galleries and museums through to shops and public transport, it is vital that we play our part in keeping our customers safe with a specific emphasis on not only collecting customer details, but also ensuring that we only take bookings for a maximum of 2 households when seated indoors.   Whilst venues cannot categorically know this to be true, the responsibility remains with us as businesses to ask those questions, limit table sizes and understand the consequences for those not adhering to the guidance.  As always, the majority are playing their part, but with recent reports of hospitality venues not asking for these basic details on arrival, the reality for our industry is that these guidelines will be significantly strengthened and may soon become mandatory in England, as with Wales and Scotland. Not explicitly delivering these requirements, will increasingly lead to a real risk of significant business disruption.   We recognise the many challenges that you are all facing and we are all here to fully support our members through this challenging period.  At the heart of a successful recovery will be our collective ability to meet the expectations of our customers, both now and into the future, ensuring that we have sustainable businesses, providing the fantastic hospitality experience that we deliver so well.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the BBPA said: “The Government has provided our sector with valuable financial support. It is our responsibility to prove that we can be relied upon to keep our customers safe with the measures that we have put in place. In the few cases identified by Test & Trace, our sector has reacted swiftly and efficiently to ensure the safety of everyone involved and proved that hospitality businesses have always been adept at dealing with health and safety within their venues. Ensuring details are collected across the board will be key to keeping our venues open and trading once we head into Autumn.”   UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “There are many methods that can be used to collate the simple data required for Test & Trace, and we have seen widespread support from consumers when it comes to providing those details.   “We must come together as a sector to show how committed we are to ensuring the continued safety of our customers and teams, at a time where we are seeing a huge surge in customer numbers with customers taking advantage of the “Enjoy Summer Safely” campaign.”   Steven Alton, CEO of the BII said: “Since pubs have reopened, communities have started to come back to life again. We need to ensure we do all we can to protect our teams and customers and help prevent further lockdowns. Pubs are so much more than just places to eat and drink, and to lose the confidence of people to return to a space where they can come together and connect with each other could cause long term damage to the social fabric of our society.”

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  • Joint statement concerning local lockdown measures in Greater Manchester

    17 August 2020

    Joint statement on behalf of Admiral Taverns, Greene King, Hydes, Joseph Holt Brewery, JW Lees, Marston’s PLC, Punch Pubs & Co., Robinsons Brewery, Star Pubs & Bars and Stonegate Pub Company concerning local lockdown measures in Greater Manchester: “The COVID-19 pandemic has given us all a new set of responsibilities. They are responsibilities that we all take incredibly seriously and we know that we all have an important role to play in ensuring the virus is controlled in Greater Manchester and beyond. "It is vital that the trade and all industry stakeholders continue to follow the Government guidance on measures to restrict the spread and keep venues safe. In particular we continue to support the track and trace measures in collecting customer details every time that they visit a pub wherever possible. "We also call on the public to accept their role here too, working with pubs, bars and restaurants in following guidance put in place, respecting staff and providing their contact details in support of track and trace. It is in everyone’s best interests that we continue to act responsibly and restrict the virus wherever we can.”   This unprecedented joint statement has been backed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser: Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “I have called for the safe return of the pub and hospitality industry and I welcome the fact that the majority are complying with all the Government Guidelines, but the majority are being let down by the minority who are not taking the regulations seriously.  I am happy to support the sector but we do need the whole industry to step up. “I am also asking the public to continue to follow the guidelines that are in place to keep them safe. Most people are doing so, but some are not and I urge those people to think twice. If you get Coronavirus, you may not know, and spread the infection further in your home and your community. "We are all adjusting to a new situation, and I know it is difficult, but now is not the time to give up. We must all work to reduce the rates of infection within our city-region.”   Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “The public must play their part in helping to stop the spread of Coronavirus. It is on us to respect social distancing, track and trace and all of the measures that are in place to keep us safe. While some may feel that they aren’t in the ‘at risk’ age group, it is their family and grandparents at home who they are putting at risk and I urge them to consider that when planning a night out with large groups. “The majority of venues are working extremely hard to keep customers and staff safe, and I thank them for that. It is only by working together that we can overcome this devastating time for the sector.”

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