Restaurant bosses write to PM calling for urgent action

16 June 2020 by
Restaurant bosses write to PM calling for urgent action

High street brands, representing over 1,000 restaurants across the country, have written to prime minister Boris Johnson calling for urgent support for the hospitality industry.

The letter, spearheaded by Deliveroo, has the backing of 90 brands including Itsu,Pret A Manger and Wagamama. It urges the need for "swift action on key issues" including rent, VAT on restaurant food and has called to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for restaurants while social distancing restrictions are in place.

Deliveroo chief executive and founder Will Shu said: ‘We are proud to be part of the UK's restaurant sector, which contributes so much to the UK economy and local communities and is one of the most diverse and vibrant in the world.

"That is why we are urging the government to implement this package of measures to ensure that the UK's amazing restaurant industry survives and then thrives."

The letter also has the backing of UKHospitality, whose chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "As these proposals from Deliveroo and their partner restaurants show, restaurants need urgent support from the government so that they can help rebuild economies and give people some much-needed enjoyment. Without it, some will close permanently and people's jobs will be lost."

In May Deliveroo announced that it had brought together legal, property and restaurant industry specialists "to help the restaurant sector navigate the challenges facing the sector, including practical considerations with rent negotiations and lease restructuring" and would call on the government to take action on rents to support the restaurant sector.

A statement from the company at the time said that "both restaurants and landlords face unprecedented challenges and huge uncertainty" and that restaurants were concerned about being able to pay rents in the face of a "prolonged reduction in dine-in sales, an unpredictable regulatory environment and lower consumer spending".

"Landlords are concerned about the future financial viability of their restaurant tenants and whether they will be unable to collect rents in future."

Deliveroo was founded in 2013 and works with more than 80,000 restaurants and takeaways across the world.

Image: Shutterstock

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