British Gas is refusing to supply hospitality businesses as the utilities firm considers the sector too high risk.
Darjeeling Express owner Asma Khan has said she was turned down for an account with the utilities giant, who told her it was not opening new accounts for restaurants until March 2021.
According to Khan, British Gas suggested she open an account elsewhere, although she can continue paying and using the service until she can find a new supplier for her new site, having relocated the restaurant to London's Covent Garden last month.
Speaking to The Caterer, Khan said: "They just said our policy is that we don't lend to hospitality anymore. British Gas basically said that they would not open any account for any hospitality until March 2021, and that was a blanket ban.
"Despite going on Twitter and even the mayor's office calling me to check if they needed to intervene in any way and help me get a gas supplier, a lot of people got in touch with me – but not British Gas. We managed to find a new supplier fortunately but it's really unacceptable."
She added: "There is no compassion, no empathy, and I can guarantee you British Gas made a huge amount of money from hotels and restaurants and cafés and pubs when we were doing well."
A spokesperson for British Gas owner Centrica responded that it was not the company's policy to apply a blanket ban on new restaurant accounts until next year, and said in this case the correct information to set up an account was not provided.
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