Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie, speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group's Christmas reception said the support was needed now to keep the sector afloat in the current challenging environment.
“The last few days have shown that customer confidence is fragile. Many businesses have seen significant reductions in trade, particularly in London and city centres. I can tell you even in my business in parts of London, we have seen like for like sales vs 2019 down 50 to 70% since the working from home message was delivered.
“This means further support for the sector, prior to any further restrictions, will be critical if we want to again preserve the livelihoods and jobs the government did so well to preserve over the last two years.”
Plan B a "massive blow"
The “triggering of Plan B” was another “massive blow” to an already fragile sector, but added that next year everyone needed to make sure that it “truly is a year of recovery for hospitality”.
“The overriding message from us is that the pub remains a safe place to socialise - hospitality has only been responsible for a tiny fraction of outbreaks over the course of the pandemic, and we continue to do everything we can to minimise transmission in our outlets.
“Our sector has faced the most significant challenges imaginable over the last two years, but we are still standing, a little battered and bruised, but ready to really be that engine room for the recovery in the coming years.”