How will the 10 pm Curfew affect hospitality?

Sep 29, 2020
Author: Hawsons
10 PM Curfew

The government’s 10 pm curfew rule came into force on 24 September. How will this affect pubs and restaurants?

Pubs and Restaurants

Many hospitality businesses have been left frustrated by the decision to impose a 10 pm curfew, with some reporting huge booking losses already because of the announcement. With the majority of pubs and restaurants set to lose money because of the curfew. This new rule will make it very difficult for restaurants and pubs to have more than one cover per table in an evening. This is because tables need to be sanitized between customers, and the 10 pm curfew means that dinner services will be shorter.

Leading figures in the hospitality sector feel this decision is not supported by any significant evidence and believe that pubs, bars, and restaurants are not causing a large spread in coronavirus. Statistics from Public Health England state that less than 5% of infections have spread through pubs and restaurants. With care homes, education, and workplaces spreading the infection at a much higher rate. The hospitality sector feels like they are being targeted and blamed for the spread of coronavirus.

The 10 pm curfew, the table service rule, and the new rule of six is expected to have more than a minor effect. Additionally, ministers hope that this announcement will warn the UK that the fight against coronavirus is not over.

Elizabeth Haigh runs a restaurant called Mei Mei based in Borough Market. She has reported that she has refunded almost £1,000 in booking cancellations in the week the announcement was made. With the majority of pubs and restaurants set to lose money because of the curfew.

Stuart Procter is the COO of London’s The Stafford Collection. He has said that 19% of his dinner reservations are booked for after 9 pm. With all customers needing to be out by 10 pm it is likely that he will lose this business with many other restaurants and pubs set to be sat in the same boat.

Late Night Bars

There is no doubt that late-night bars will be affected the most by this new rule, as most of their earnings are made between the hours of 8 pm and 2 am.

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton. As the sector continues to become ever more challenging, with changes in the fierce global, nation, and regional competition leading to unrelenting pressures to maintain margins, it is more crucial than ever to seek sound and proactive advice.

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Richard Burkimsher

Richard Burkimsher

Partner, Northampton