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Two thirds fewer shifts being worked post-lockdown, pub receives almost 500 job applications

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector
People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector

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Despite reports of 484 applicants competing for two jobs at a south London pub, the number of shifts being worked across the UK's hospitality sector remains at less than a third of pre-pandemic numbers.

Hospitality shifts down 68.9% versus pre-lockdown levels

Income streaming provider Wagestream revealed the number of shifts currently being worked in the UK’s pubs, bars and restaurants is less than a third of the number seen prior to the enforced closure of venues on 20 March.

Recent research found shift numbers are still down 68.9% on pre-lockdown levels across the UK, while in England, where pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes have been able to open since July 4, the number of shifts carried out by workers is still down 58.3%.

Worryingly, Wagestream’s findings also show the number of shifts being offered to staff is only increasing at a rate of 3% per week.  

“The hospitality industry was uniquely susceptible to the Covid-19 crisis and it is in desperate need of our support,” Peter Briffett, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream, said of the figures.

“Pubs and restaurants must stage a dramatic fight back if they are to survive but they can only do that if people are willing to get back out there and spend. 

“We know the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants have moved heaven and Earth to make it business as usual as far as the comfort, safety and enjoyment of guests is concerned and we really hope they are rewarded for that in the weeks to come. 

“The Chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out​ scheme, which starts in August, is a fantastic way of encouraging people to support these firms. It will hopefully help put the afterburners on and drive more footfall to UK hospitality venues.”

Nearly 500 applicants for two pub jobs

A south London pub operator has revealed that he recently received 484 applications for two £9-an-hour bar jobs – including interest from former air stewards, restaurant managers and shop workers recently made redundant. 

As reported by​, Mick Dore of the Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, south London, tweeted: “I don’t want to alarm anyone about the economy or anything, but I advertised two bar jobs at 4.30 on Thursday. We’ve had well over 400 applicants. Gulp.”

He added: “We’d normally get a dozen or so sensible replies (i.e people who don’t live in West Ham and stuff). Not that there’s anything wrong with people who live in West Ham obviously, it’s just miles away.”

Dore said the quality of applicants was so high he ended up hiring six people.

Blackrose announces handful of hires

Aprirose-owned pub company, Blackrose, has announced five appointments​ as it works towards building an estate of close to 250-sites by the end of 2021.

Michael McGarry has been appointed as senior operations manager and will be responsible for Blackrose’s southern pub estate. McGarry was previously operations manager for the south east at OYO hotels, where he managed an estate of 19 properties. 

Adrian Lowry has been named senior operations manager to oversee Blackrose’s northern estate. Lowry was UK regional manager and director at Shark Club Sports Bar and Grill, having previously worked at Irish Pub Company in Singapore as general manager and operations manager. 

Furthermore, Robert Young has been tasked with developing the Blackrose’s marketing function and ultimately supporting the operations team to drive revenue as the group’s new head of marketing. 

Young will be supported a team including new digital marketing coordinator Jack Hawkins and marketing coordinator Megan Dryden.  

Launched in June 2019​​ following a string of acquisitions by real estate investment company Aprirose – including a £22.4m deal for Wear Inns​​ and the £130m purchase of Spirit Pub Company’s branded portfolio from British Land​​ – Blackrose currently boasts 41 pubs under management with 12 currently operating under the Blackrose brand.  


Liberation Group reshuffles senior team

Channel Islands-based pub company the Liberation Group has announced the creation of two new senior roles​ as part of its response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

The group’s managing director of pubs and inns​​, Jayson Perfect – who joined Liberation-owned Butcombe Brewery​​​ from Palmers Brewery as MD in November 2016 – has been appointed into the role of group MD Liberation pubs and inns, covering both managed and tenanted pubs.

Additionally, Marc McGuigan has been appointed group MD of Liberation's brewing and drinks, covering both the UK and the Channel Islands, with the respective heads of Victor Hugo wines and spirits and Thomas Bucktrouts retail outlets in Guernsey, Tim Hubert, and Dave Robilliard, reporting into him. 

However, after three years with Liberation Group, Christine Oxford will be leaving after the reshuffle rendered the role of managing director of tenanted pubs redundant.


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