Fuller's boss 'rightsizing business'

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Extremely confident: Fuller's chief executive Simon Emeny has said it is a question of when London bounces back and not if.
Extremely confident: Fuller's chief executive Simon Emeny has said it is a question of when London bounces back and not if.

Related tags: London, Coronavirus, Legislation, Fullers, Simon emeny, Jobs

Fuller’s chief executive has said he is optimistic his London-based estate can overcome “short term challenges”, in an interview with The Morning Advertiser (MA).

Pubco boss Simon Emeny told The MA​ he would not access the Government’s Jobs Support Scheme as the company considers making up to 10% of roles redundant.

The scheme has already been criticised by operators and trade associations as not doing enough to help struggling pub operators.

“I haven't spoken to anyone in the hospitality industry that is going to access the scheme, it does nothing to help previously very successful businesses that are now going to be going through a period of hibernation until the Government relaxes the restrictions that they have placed on the sector and also on London," he said.

“We are going through a very difficult process to rightsize our business to reflect the new trading conditions that we operate under, which would involve a number of redundancies sadly."

The company will aim to keep as many pubs open in the capital city as possible.

Phenomenal capital

“Through all of this, we need to separate out the short term challenges in London and balance that out against what a phenomenal capital city London actually is and what the medium to longer term will be," Emeny continued.

His venues in London have suffered from the Government reversing its stance on workers returning to offices, when Boris Johnson told the public they should work from home if they can earlier this month.

The Prime Minister’s announcement “has made what was a challenging environment in London even tougher,” he explained.

“As you would expect, [footfall] hasn't improved from September and we were envisaging prior to the Prime Minister's announcement, people would gradually start returning to their offices and you would see a momentum behind that. Unfortunately the announcement has stalled that momentum.”

The absence of tourism, the arts and sporting events were “short term challenges” which had “meant London is very quiet at the moment,” Emeny added.

Extremely confident

“But I have to say I remain extremely confident that London will come back, it's really a question of when rather than if," he continued. 

“What we are seeing is that offices are staying open and there is a large proportion of office workers, particularly amongst the young, that have really found working from home incredibly difficult and are very grateful to pubs and restaurants that have remained open and continue to remain open at the moment.”

What’s more, Emeny was keen to highlight pubs were part of the pandemic’s solution and not the problem. “I think navigating the short term continues to be challenging when the Government aren't using data to support the decisions they are taking,” he explained.

“We would like to continue to work closely with Government to make sure that whatever decisions they arrive at are carefully thought through and are data led and implemented in a way that we can, as a regulated sector, continue to help battle against the virus.”

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