Coronavirus pushes Whiting & Hammond into administration

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Not enough: 'there has been help to a degree from the Government but sadly this doesn’t go anywhere near the expenses that needed to be covered", Whiting & Hammond MD Brian Whiting said
Not enough: 'there has been help to a degree from the Government but sadly this doesn’t go anywhere near the expenses that needed to be covered", Whiting & Hammond MD Brian Whiting said

Related tags: MA500, Multi-site pub operators, Whiting & hammond, Gastropub

Multiple pub operator Whiting & Hammond entered into administration at the end of last month (30 September), it has announced.

The business called in administrators due to the ongoing pressures of the coronavirus pandemic and Government restrictions.

The south east-based company has rescued three of its sites under a new firm called WH Pubs, which has saved 150 jobs.

Torrid time

Managing director Brian Whiting said: “It will come as no surprise that during this past year the hospitality sector has endured a torrid time as a result of the pandemic and the forced closure for three and a half months.

“There has been help to a degree from the Government but sadly this doesn’t go anywhere near the expenses that needed to be covered.  On the back of a very good winter and high hopes for the year ahead, on 20 ​March, we were forced to close the business by the Government.

“It was clear from the restrictions that on the 4 July it would not be possible for us to open all our pubs so we picked the four we believed would survive under the new Covid-19 regulations hoping to make enough money to open the remaining sites. 

“Sadly, not for the lack of trying and the continuing added Covid-19 restrictions like the 10pm curfew this has not been possible, unfortunately on the 30 September 2020, we called in the administrators.”

Moving forward

Whiting went on to thank all staff throughout the company, alongside customers and suppliers for their support.

“I am pleased to report that we have rescued three of the sites from administration under the new name of WH Pubs and have saved 150 jobs," he added.

“We are clearly worried moving forward with curfews and Covid-19 restrictions, which have clearly affected all in hospitality, but the teams in these pubs are working around the clock to make them successful and safe.

“It breaks my heart to see the four pubs (the Farm Friday Street in Eastbourne; the Mark Cross Inn, Mark Cross; the Blue Ball Inn in Walton on the Hill; and the Kings Head in Bessels Green) that we have built up over the last 18 years disappear and the fantastic people that have been on this epic journey lost. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal customers, fantastic suppliers and most of all the staff for their support over the years. I wish the new operators to these sites all our best wishes and hope they will be successful in turning the closed business around."

Related topics: MA500 Business Club

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