Opinion

The reality of reopening

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Change the narrative: 'the entire sector should be holding its head high for pulling off a reasonable and responsible restart'
Change the narrative: 'the entire sector should be holding its head high for pulling off a reasonable and responsible restart'

Related tags: Coronavirus

Well the predictions of carnage and mayhem failed to materialise, despite the best efforts of some media outlets and newspapers attempts to suggest otherwise.

For their information, illegal raves in parks and forests are not the responsibilities of the pubs.

Also, large crowds gathering in the town and city centres, such as Soho, are the responsibility of the police to manage, not that you’d know that from the quotes from police forces around the country. 

That said, the entire sector should be holding its head high for pulling off a reasonable and responsible restart, despite the fact some idiot thought it would be a good idea to restart on a Saturday of all days.

Reports from across the sector were of a slow but steady return to trade, with some even reporting reasonably good numbers in some areas.

This was not the carnage the widespread media was hoping for, and bar a few exceptions, operators managed the situation with alacrity and customers behaved responsibly.

I’d like to salute all those who opened this weekend for their hard work and commitment to getting us back to trade, and hopefully we can share some of those stories moving forward to help everyone get back into business, safely and responsibly and start that long journey to recovery.

Yes, there are going to be some bumps in the road ahead, and it’s not going to be easy or without challenge, but this is the pub trade, we’ve survived, adapted and evolved for centuries, and we’ll continue to do so going forward.

You only have to look at some of the stories from the lockdown to see how amazing this business is - pubs that were on their knees, yet continued to find ways to help locals, vulnerable customers and build their trade slowly back up.

To recognise some of that, we’ve adapted the Great British Pub Awards to celebrate the heroes of the crisis, and we’d love to hear and share your stories - visit www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk​ to let us know. 

We need to get the message out there that pubs are key to our communities, both economically and socially, and that we are responsible members of society - let’s change the narrative going forwards.

Related topics: UnitedWeStand

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