The book, called Covid Stories, shares inspirational stories from across the business, the challenges they faced, the highs and lows and how they brought communities together, encapsulating the experience for generations to come.
Greene King CEO, Nick Mackenzie said: “When Covid struck it was devasting for the pub and brewing industry, but we battled through the constant uncertainty and restrictions.
“The fortitude and can-do spirit, which epitomises the character of people who work in pubs, was phenomenal, Covid Stories aims to tell some of our people’s experiences from the highs and the lows during the pandemic.”
Rollercoaster for hospitality sector
The book explained how from March 2020 until July 2021, life was like a rollercoaster for the hospitality industry with many pubs closed.
General manager of the Fox & Pheasant in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, Terry Rigg said in the book he found pub closures hard to handle, but his two dogs and DIY helped him through.
Rigg’s addition to Covid Stories included: “The hardest thing was ringing people to cancel their bookings for that weekend.
Many customers hadn’t heard the news (of the first announcement of pub closures) yet, so were totally shocked, but even worse was when I had to do it all again for the second lockdown. Calling customers up to effectively cancel their Christmas festivities was dreadful.”
During the pandemic, Greene King raised £1.5m for its charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support, despite pubs being closed for much of the year.
Food and stock worth £800,000 were donated to good causes and brewery drays travelled the length and breadth of the country collecting 120,000 firkins of unused beer so it could be disposed of in an environmentally safe way.
Mackenzie added: “I am so proud of all of our team members, and the book is full of selfless, creative, giving, community-minded, team-spirited, endlessly resilient and frankly, inspirational people.”