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Further redundancies expected across hospitality

02 July 2020 by

Further redundancies are expected across the hospitality sector including businesses such as Market Halls, Britannia Hotels and Firmdale.

Market Halls, which has three food halls in London, confirmed it has started a consultation process of redundancy with staff after making the "difficult decision" that its sites will remain closed while social distancing remains.

Meanwhile, 800 roles are believed to be at risk at Firmdale. A letter to staff seen by The Caterer warning of possible redundancies suggested the group was planning to reopen its Ham Yard hotel in London's Soho and Palace Laundry in July, before deciding on a course of action for its other properties.

Also today, the RMT Union said that 83 out of a total of 178 roles were at risk at Britannia's Adelphi hotel in Liverpool.

Andy Lewis-Pratt, chief executive of Market Halls said that Market Halls would reopen "when it can".

He added: "It is heart breaking to see our business, like so many others, brought to its knees by Covid-19 and the ongoing uncertainty around how we get back to normal. I am desperately sorry for my employees and the independent food traders that make our Market Halls family so special. We will support them as much as we can and continue to explore all possible opportunities to get us going again.

"One thing is for sure, Market Halls will reopen. And when it does, it is my ambition to reemploy as many of our staff as possible. Unfortunately our business is only viable when it is bustling with customers. This means for our venues to reopen, social distancing needs to have been withdrawn and workers and shoppers back in the city. Currently, it is simply not possible to provide the Market Halls experience that our customers know and love.

"While we welcome the moves to ease lockdown and wish everyone opening this weekend the best of luck, what will significantly help all of us is a firm indication of when social distancing will come to an end and, together with the London Mayor, a joint determination to get London safely back to work and its streets busy again.

"Everyone at Market Halls is very grateful to our customers and supporters. We have been overwhelmed by your kind messages throughout this difficult period and we can't wait to welcome you again when we re-open. Until then, please stay in touch online and we will bring you more updates when we have news to share."

Britannia Hotels was contacted for comment. Firmdale declined to comment.

Photo: Shutterstock

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