Many operators had been anticipating a bout of bad weather since reopening for outdoor trade from Monday 12 April.
There have been calls from hospitality and tourism bosses for an additional bank holiday in September to help businesses recover from losses.
The Dog & Parrot in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire was one site to shut over the bank holiday weekend after it felt it would not be safe to operate.
The pub was hit by “torrential rain and strong winds” on Monday (3 May) after managing to remain open on Saturday and Sunday despite cold temperatures.
Other operators described difficulty trying to keep customers dry while ensuring outdoor structures had 50% of their walls exposed as per Government guidance.
Yes. Due to the governments insistence that we can’t put canopy sides down, we just couldn’t keep enough customers dry to make trading viable. pic.twitter.com/BAaLIkRQZy— Elaine Wrigley (@WrigleyElaine) May 4, 2021
Some pubs were thankful for making investments into sturdy outdoor structures.
The Wonston Arms in Winchester, Hampshire said it achieved its best bank holiday weekend trade in six years thanks to its pergola protecting customers and staff.
Nope we traded on through bad weather bank holiday weekend and our outside pergola made the difference. Our best bank holiday weekend trade in 6 years pic.twitter.com/9IYS6KMqqW— The Wonston Arms Pub (@thewonstonarms) May 4, 2021
Other sites were faced with having to make last-minute orders for new outdoor protections.
We arrived at the pub this morning to find the marquees had broke due to the very high winds last night! now for plan b! Next day delivery on some marquees / gazebos!— The Purefoy Arms (@thepurefoyarms) May 4, 2021
For those operators who chose to remain open despite the poor conditions, a number described experiencing little trade or cancellations for the week ahead.
We’re staying open ,but have had a lot of cancellations for the week— Pig and Whistle SW18 (@PigandWhistleSW) May 4, 2021
Anger was directed at Government ministers for the decision to permit indoor hospitality to reopen at a later date to outdoor trade (Monday 17 May).
Big shout out to @MattHancock@BorisJohnson for their complete lack of understanding of business &there utter contempt for the hospitality sector. We have shut the pub, &are very limited with other sites. We are 100% dependent on the UK weather because we can only trade outside pic.twitter.com/l75H1LL0R2— Daniel Davies (@danieldaviesRPL) May 3, 2021