Some of these operations may never reopen and we are still yet to know all the unknowns of what is to come.
However, what is certain is that the hospitality sector will be critical in helping this country prosper after the pandemic is eradicated.
As one of the biggest employers for the young, it will give school, college and university leavers their first set of employable skills outside a classroom. And, in a time where the high street is in decline and communication between neighbours is being lost, the pub provides a focus for community.
Hospitality is a key driver to our economy and needs nurturing but the human side of it provides a social space to prevent isolation – exactly the reason they have been shut – and we, as humans, will seek human contact more than ever after so long in solitary.
Media, like any business today, is also affected. Ours, being aimed at the hospitality sector, more than most. For this reason, we are also having to make swift, but informed decisions to ensure this brand – which is one of the oldest media brands in the world, for more than 200 years – isn’t another coronavirus victim. We made it through two world wars, after all.
Our aim has always been to create content to help our readers make better, more inspired business decisions. We have achieved this through print, digital and events, connecting our readers to insight and news. Our content has now become more essential than ever to so many. But our channels have been limited. Events are obviously restricted. These we will be postponed where appropriate or moving the content to digital, live arenas so that hospitality has our full support.
Our website has seen exponential traffic growth during the past few weeks with several thousands of pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and, of course, their staff going to morningadvertiser.co.uk to get the latest developments, advice and seeing what other operators are doing to cope.
We are also now taking the steps to change how we produce our magazine. We will be changing our magazine to an e-reader version and producing one issue per month during this pandemic. Because many of our readers’ premises are closed, they are not going to receive the printed copy.
But also, the postal and printing industries are being affected with many workers self-isolating and unwell. And, as mentioned, our website content is more important than ever so our diligent reporters are working hard to keep up with the demand for content in dynamic and immediate fashion.
This was a big decision, of course. However, our biggest reason for this short-term (we hope) change is that we want to make our content as widely available to as many businesses in hospitality as possible. And, of course, an e-reader version of our magazine enables us to do just this efficiently.
So we will, with immediate effect, make all issues, for the duration of lockdown available on e-readers to all – for free.
We’re now also seeking to bring together the hospitality sector under the #UnitedWeStand banner. The Morning Advertiser, Restaurant magazine, MCA and Big Hospitality have created dedicated channels to help all operators across our brands. Our parent company, William Reed, has also formed a highly distinguished panel of advisers to answer any, and all, of your questions on a continually live basis. And our other parent company, the Licensed Trade Charity continues to see unprecedented call volumes as it seeks to financially and emotionally support those businesses in most distress.
For more information on any of the above, please see the following links:
Or please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To all our readers, you have our unwavering support of all the team at The Morning Advertiser in these difficult times.
What are we doing?
■ Our magazine is moving from printed to a largely e-reader version with one issue published each month. Why?
■ Many of our readers’ premises are shut and will not be at their business premises. Our e-reader issues will be sent to their inbox, not their pub mailbox
■ Postal and printing services are also affected by staff shortages
■ Our editorial team is producing more digital content daily to keep up with reader demand
■ We want to make our content available to all – for free
Our events are being postponed or moved to a digital conference:
■ MA500 in Leeds, which was set to take place in May is changing to a digital conference with the Leeds event postponed until September
■ Top 50 Cocktail Bars is being postponed until October with our content focus on social channels to support these businesses
■ The Great British Pub Awards is moving to October with a change in categories and judging – appropriate for this current time.