Licensed Trade Charity helpline calls double 2019 levels
The charity dedicated to pub, bar and brewery workers has revealed that the volume of calls to its helpline between January and September 2020 was 164% higher than that seen in 2019 amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
What’s more, the LTC has also seen web traffic increase by 286% year-on-year.
According to the charity’s latest figures between October 2019 and September 2020, 43% of helpline calls related to emotional support – 39% of which involved personal emotional well being issues and 22% relationship or family issues – while 53% dealt with practical advice.
More than one-in-three Brits know a jobless hospitality worker
Global intelligence platform Streetbees has found that more than a third (37%) of Brits know someone who worked in the hospitality sector and has lost their job due to Covid-19.
This follows a survey of more than 11,000 Brits by global intelligence platform Piplsay revealing that more than half of workers (59%) fear losing their jobs when the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) wraps at the end of October.
According to CGA’s Business Confidence Survey in May, more than four in every five (83%) hospitality operators furloughed at least 90% of their staff during the novel coronavirus crisis, with 96% of sites putting more than 70% of workers on the CJRS.
What’s more, pub and hospitality trade bodies UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer & Pub Association have forecast that the sectors face the loss of 750,000 jobs without urgent Government support amid the introduction of the new tiered system of Covid measures.
The same set of figures also found that while half of Brits think pubs and bars should close temporarily to address the second spike, a quarter (24%) are against such a measure and a further 26% say they don’t know because everything keeps changing so quickly.
This comes despite 61% of respondents believing calling last orders will make a difference to infection rates, with just over one in four (28%) of those quizzed dismissive of the difference pub closures could make and just over one in 10 (11%) claiming they don’t know.
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Number of bar staff job adverts falls by almost a fifth
According to the latest figures from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) the number of hospitality job postings fell significantly week-on-week during the seven days commencing 5 October.
The REC recorded significant decreases in active job adverts for bar staff (down 17.3%), waiters and waitresses (down 10.8%), chefs (down 7.2%) and catering and bar managers (down 6.7%).
What’s more, the number of active job postings for hospitality occupations fell most notably in Northern Ireland (down 16.7%) and Scotland (down 9.7%) as restaurants and pubs across the central belt of Scotland closed in a bid to tackle rising number of Covid-19 cases.
The slump in hospitality job adverts comes as amid the first drop in week-on-week active job adverts across the UK since July – with the 1.28m currently active adverts 1% lower than the previous week, and the 128,000 new job adverts posted down 7.6%.
“With Covid cases rising and further restrictions being imposed, a pause in the strong trend of recovery we have seen over the summer is perhaps not a surprise, though it’s deeply unwelcome,” Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said.
“While this change is a concern, we expect it to be a pause on the path to recovery rather than a return to the jobs market of the first lockdown.
“Businesses have made a lot of progress on making workplaces Covid-secure and on effective home working – so hiring and onboarding online is becoming much more common.
“We do need to ensure the right package of economic support is in place to help the regions and sectors hit by local lockdowns – including supporting temporary workers and the supply chains that support them.”
Chestnut appoints COO
East Anglian pub and restaurant operator Chestnut has announced Henry Fairbanks as its new chief operating officer.
With more than 20 years of hospitality and leisure experience, Fairbanks joins the business from Bermondsey Pub Company, where he was responsible for the operator’s 68-strong estate as operations director from 2016.
Prior to Bermondsey, Fairbanks held a variety of managerial and operational roles at RealPubs, the Metropolitan Pub Company, Heineken UK, Adnams and Lord’s Cricket Ground.
“We are pleased to have appointed Henry to the Chestnut leadership team,” said Chestnut founder Philip Turner.
“He brings a wealth of experience and will be integral in achieving our ambition for Chestnut. Henry will be responsible for overseeing the trading business, as we see continued opportunity for strong growth.
“I am delighted to be joining one of East Anglia’s fastest growing hospitality businesses,” added Fairbanks. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with an ambitious team and some outstanding venues which pride themselves on a great experience and celebrating this beautiful region.”
Puttshack reshuffles UK leadership team
Indoor mini golf experience operator, Puttshack, has restructured its executive team, assigning new roles to Logan Powell and Hugh Knowles.
In addition to his role as group CFO, Powell has been named Puttshack’s UK president while Knowles has been appointed UK managing director and will continue to lead on UK growth while helping to facilitate Puttshack’s global expansion and assuming responsibility for site operations in the UK.
“We made the decision to restructure our executive team to facilitate the smooth reopening of our White City and Lakeside venues, ensuring we continued to provide fun, clean and safe experiences to our guests,” Joe Vrankin, CEO of Puttshack, said of the changes.
“We’re also confident that this move will best prepare us for the upcoming year after what has been a very challenging time for the entire hospitality industry.
“Both Logan and Hugh have been key to Puttshack’s growing success and I am delighted to announce these changes as they more fully reflect their contributions.”
Since opening its first location in 2018, Puttshack now has three London locations in White City, Lakeside and Bank – with the former two open to the public with a number of Covid-secure measures in place.
‘Help us or we’ll lose three quarters of a million jobs’ trade warns
Some 750,000 hospitality roles will be lost by February 2021 without further Government support, a survey from trade bodies has found.
The poll of UKHospitality (UKH), British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) members by CGA revealed more than three quarter (76%) of businesses were loss making.
The results reflect views largely canvassed before the full impact of the Government’s tiered system were announced, with areas including London, York, Lancashire and Liverpool under tight restrictions.
Read more here.
JDW not considering further redundancies
JD Wetherspoon (JDW) boss Tim Martin told The Morning Advertiser the business is currently not considering making more redundancies, but wouldn't rule out more cuts if trade continues to drop.
At a press conference to reveal the firm’s preliminary results for the 52 weeks ending 26 July 2020 at Hamilton Hall in London’s Liverpool Street station (Friday 16 October), Martin said train station pubs were trading down.
When asked if this band of sites would be the next area the company would consider job cuts (following the announcement of airport pub job losses and head office roles cut), Martin said: “Nothing is sacred, but we haven't yet considered redundancies in those locations (station pubs) but I suppose the truth is we might have to if trade remains very poor. We are hoping to avoid it. [But we have] no strategy.
“It's really, at the moment, whatever companies say, they are just operating from hand to mouth and put so much energy into reacting to what the Government does, it's very difficult to make a plan.
“When a new raft of regulations come out, imagine London, we have got 125 pubs in London, London is going into tier two, what does that mean? A phenomenal amount of work.”
Read more here.
Wine GB appoints new CEO
Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) has appointed Simon Thorpe as its new CEO.
Thorpe, who boasts more than 30 years’ experience in the retail wholesale sectors including Waitrose, Constellation, Negociants and John E Fells will begin his new role on 26 October.
“I am delighted to be joining WineGB at such a momentous time for the industry,” he said. “I have spent a large amount of my wine industry career working with wines from around the world in the UK market.
“Now I have the opportunity to champion our own brilliant English and Welsh producers and help them to build a great and exciting future – that is a fantastic and hugely motivating challenge.
“It will a busy agenda from the start with our lead campaign to promote our Classic Method wines and a focused Christmas campaign.
“One area of focus is furthering our relationship with Westminster to benefit this industry as it looks to the future. Importantly I am looking forward to getting to know the industry better and to understanding the challenges and aspirations of Wine GB members and how we can best serve their needs.”
Chairman of WineGB, Simon Robinson, added: “On behalf of WineGB, its board and members, we are delighted to welcome Simon. The expertise and knowledge that he brings from so many areas of the wine trade and the world of wine at large will help take this industry to the next level as we look to a very exciting future.”
Disaronno International UK strengthens senior team with two new hires
Disaronno International UK has announced the appointments of Lucy MacDonald and Marc Richardson to lead its sales division.
MacDonald has been appointed as on-trade sales director while Richardson joins as his off-trade counterpart. Together the duo will be responsible for building on Disaronno International UK’s existing network of partners.
MacDonald joins Disaronno International UK having most recently led all out of home activity and on-trade sales for Remedy Kombucha and off the back of a number of commercial roles at Lucozade Ribena Suntory.
“After an incredibly tough period for the hospitality industry, I’m looking forward to strengthening our relationship with bar and restaurants across the UK, working together as we adapt to the new normal and navigate these uncertain times,” she said. “Our aim going into 2021 will be to develop new lasting relationships with key trade partners giving consumers more access to our versatile products.”
Richardson brings more than 20 years of experience in the drinks and FMCG industry having been responsible for off-trade sales of premium and luxury spirits brands owned by Rémy Cointreau as its off-trade sales director for over four years.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the journey in making Disaronno International UK a success,” he said. “There’s a huge opportunity out there to develop our brands in the retail space. With a surge of consumers creating quality cocktails at home, our existing brands and our exciting innovation pipeline provide a broad range of products to allow consumers to really get creative.”
“My aim is to strengthen our relationships with our off-trade partners in order to give consumers access to our great brands for at-home enjoyment.”