The Morning Advertiser (MA) understands the sites aren’t from specific brands but a mix across its portfolio and the number is in the 10s.
The Telegraph reported M&B would be closing 20 sites, which make up about 1.12% of the pub company’s 1,700-strong estate.
Sites under review
A spokesperson for M&B said: “As announced in September, M&B reopened the vast majority of its estate, approximately 95%, after the first lockdown ended.
“The remaining sites have been under review on a case-by-case basis since, taking into account factors such as expected footfall and business layout.
“We have taken the difficult decision not to reopen some of these sites and are working with leaseholders on next steps.”
This comes just over a month after the pub company announced redundancy consultations for staff. The operator, which employs some 44,000 workers, said it was unable to confirm any numbers at present and put the redundancies down to the latest Government restrictions.
Support not enough
At the time, a spokesperson for M&B said: “Our industry is operating in exceptionally challenging and uncertain circumstances.
“While we have worked incredibly hard to make sites Covid-19 secure and keep staff and customers safe, we are facing significant difficulties from the recently introduced 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, new enforced closures and tapering Government support that doesn’t go far enough.
“M&B, like many others in the sector, has taken the very difficult and regrettable decision to open redundancy consultations with a number of our front-line team and will seek to redeploy affected staff wherever possible.
“With trading restrictions and uncertainty likely to continue for the foreseeable future, we strongly urge the Government to step up the level of support it is offering to an industry that has been repeatedly singled out and taken the full brunt of restrictions.
“We have opened consultations and will seek to redeploy affected staff wherever possible. We are unable to confirm numbers at this time.”