Hugh Osmond has joined Sacha Lord's legal challenge to get indoor hospitality open at the same time as non-essential retail next month (12 April).
Osmond, who founded Punch Taverns, is a former director of PizzaExpress and is now a director of Various Eateries, which operates Strada and Tavolino restaurants, has written to prime minister Boris Johnson about what he described as an "irrational decision" and has launched the #Case4Hospitality campaign on social media.
Johnson's reopening roadmap announced last month gave an anticipated opening date of 12 April for non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality spaces only, with indoor dining and hotels having to wait until 17 May at the earliest.
The government has until Wednesday to respond to the challenge, which Lord said on Twitter he is asking to be expediated in the High Court to give notice to businesses to stock up and bring staff off furlough.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The swift vaccine rollout and its impact on case numbers is extremely positive. It gives us hope that the government will be able to deliver on its commitment to make this the last ever lockdown and, most importantly, to remove all social distancing restrictions for good on 21 June. While any restrictions remain in place, our pubs and restaurants can only break even and the viability of thousands remains at risk – we lost over 12,000 in the last year alone.
"That is why we urge the government to review the roadmap and look to remove or reduce restrictions on trading – table service, online or takeaway only, no standing outdoors – at the earliest possible opportunity. It may also be possible to allow some limited indoor operations to resume at an earlier date. While we understand the need for caution, we would urge the government to review the roadmap again and make decisions based on data, not dates."