Self-sanctioned baptism of fire: 'Ironically, the one area I do now feel in control of is the other side of my career as a performer'

How has 2020 changed people and pubs?

‘When you’re a publican and you’ve retrained as an actress. Just call me Lucky’

By Debbie Baisden, the Rayleigh Arms, Terling, Essex

To kick off a series looking back at a turbulent 12 months in the on-trade, Debbie Baisden, a multi-tasking, performing publican, explains how she is confronting Covid-19 challenges with hopes to continue both her careers in the arts and hospitality.

The Morning Advertiser Lock In podcast episode 8

The Lock In Podcast

The Lock In Podcast: Review of the year and challenges ahead

By Ed Bedington

With 2020 drawing to a close, and the last episode of the Lock In podcast for the year, the team take a look back at a year which has had few highlights, but plenty of challenges for the sector and more on the way. We take a look forward at what 2021...

The Morning Advertiser Lock In podcast episode 7

The Lock In Podcast

The Lock In Podcast: Food glorious food!

By Ed Bedington

With food the focus under the new government restrictions for pubs, the Lock In podcast team talk about how you can create a food offer during the crisis, what makes good, and bad, pub food, the practicalities of a food offer and debate what substantial...

Open for business: just over one quarter of pub members told the British Beer and Pub Association they would be reopening yesterday

Only 27% of pubs intended to reopen, BBPA survey shows

By Emily Hawkins

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has said 12,600 - just 27% of pubs in Britain - had told them they intended to reopen yesterday (2 December) after England's second national lockdown was lifted.

The Morning Advertiser Lock In podcast episode 5

The Lock In Podcast

The Lock In Podcast: Christmas planning in a pandemic

By Ed Bedington

In this week's episode of the Lock In podcast, Ed Bedington, Heath Ball and James Cuthbertson talk about Christmas, what can we expect to get out of a Christmas with restrictions, and where they see things heading. Tune in for a listen the latest...

BII ceo on the plight of British pubs


Destroying our nation's heritage

By Steve Alton

We are a nation of pub lovers. To us they represent more than just places to eat and drink, they are the places that we connect as people.

Why aren’t some pubs opening on July 4

To open, or not to open…

By Ed Bedington

Not all pubs will be flinging their doors open on Saturday 4 July, with many choosing to wait and see how the public reacts to the new situation.

Common thread: ‘many pubs will struggle to open at all, having environments not designed for social distancing,’ according to BII chief executive Steve Alton


One-in-four pubs can’t reopen at 2m distancing, BII survey finds

By Stuart Stone

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has found that while three quarters of pubs could reopen in some way, shape or form, under two-metre social distancing rules, 82% of them would do so at less than half of pre-pandemic turnover levels.

Industry lifeline: Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to be a member of the ‘Save Summer Six’, which supports reopening pubs earlier, according to The Financial Times


Ministers bid to ‘save summer’ with 22 June pub restart

By Stuart Stone

A group of ministers said to be calling themselves the ‘Save Summer Six’ are working to reopen pubs in England a fortnight ahead of schedule in a bid to save 3.5m hospitality sector jobs, according to reports.

International focus: monitoring events abroad may give us insight as to what our venues may look like, says Sacha Lord


Hospitality must look abroad for a glimpse of the future

By Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester

This week marks a positive step in our road to recovery as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) looks set to advise how bars and pubs can reopen.

Conflicting calls: Simon Clarke’s reassertion of two-metre distancing flies in the face of calls from senior MPs and the trade to halve measures


Two-metre distancing to stay despite cut calls from MPs

By Stuart Stone

Housing minister Simon Clarke has revealed the Government intends to maintain two-metre social distancing despite calls from the hospitality sector and senior MPs for its reduction.

No prizes for rushed reopening: ’there is no gold medal for coming out first. We will do this properly, we will do this effectively, and we will do this only once,’ Liberation Group’s Jayson Perfect says

Big Interview

There’s no gold medal for reopening pubs first

By Stuart Stone

Jayson Perfect says the tide is turning when it comes to reopening locked down sites at Channel Islands-based pub group Liberation – if only there was a word to describe the action of setting them free?

Key to community: the Rose & Crown lockdown shop is a success


Lockdown shop is a hit with locals

By Ed Bedington

Pubs continue to adapt and evolve in a bid to survive the current coronavirus crisis. The Morning Advertiser visited the Rose & Crown in Cuckfield, West Sussex, to find out how new licensee James Clark has turned his once-thriving local into a real...

Critical support: the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme has been an ‘absolute lifesaver’ according to Livelyhood Pub Group's Tom Talbot


‘The state aid we’ve received has helped us survive’

By Stuart Stone

Tom Talbot of Livelyhood Pub Company and City Pub Group’s Clive Watson dialled in to MA500’s online conference to discuss what Covid-19 financial support they had received and how it had helped their businesses survive shutdown.

Breathing room: what difference could adopting WHO’s one-metre social distancing guidance make to the UK’s pubs after lockdown ends?


Scaled down social distancing ‘might just save’ pubs

By Stuart Stone

While Brits were doing their best to enjoy a VE Day bank holiday weekend in lockdown, Denmark cut social distancing from two metres to one metre in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance. Could a similar step help UK pubs when the time comes...

We can do this: 'tell us how we can help, where you’re having problems and what can be done to resolve them,' MA managing editor Nicholas Robinson says


'There’s no option other than fight'

By Nicholas Robinson

‘Frustrated’ doesn’t seem to cut the mustard right now, nor does difficult, trying, testing, tough or troubling.

Handy idea: take advantage of the time available to renovate your site

Licensing Hub – Legal with Poppleston Allen

Legal Q&A: limit to flexible hours and refurbishment proposals

By Poppleston Allen

The latest legal Q&A from specialist licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen covers the rules around late-night refreshments and refurbishment proposals during Covid-19 lockdown.

Heart of the village: the Anchor is the linchpin for great food delivered from the pub

My Pub

How the Anchor launched a popular food delivery service

By Gary Lloyd

When pubs were shut down in March, licensees Matthew Crisp and partner Lee Hughes had to act fast, so they set up a food delivery service that is proving hugely popular with locals, who have responded by doing all they can to support the business. Here,...

Bangers and batter: Brits are looking forward to tucking into toad in the hole at pubs when normality resumes


Toad in the hole voted best comeback dish

By Alice Leader

While many of your customers have been pushed to reinvent your pub’s classics in their homes, new insight shows toad in the hole is the top dish Brits want to see on menus when the lockdown lifts.

Empty seats: the sector has seen a fall in sales as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to see a further drop


Dry-led pubs footfall drops 30% in past week

By Alice Leader

Over the past seven days, dry-led pubs saw 30% fewer customers compared to the same period in 2019, including a 53% drop in footfall in just one day (18 March).

Social distancing: a publican is offering food deliveries for those who are staying at home


Publican delivers meals to elderly amid coronavirus

By Alice Leader

A publican and her daughter are offering a “not-for-profit” delivery service where they will take their popular pub meals on the road to “those in need” during the coronavirus outbreak.

Attractive offer: pubs are experiencing a healthy growth from smaller demographics

Women drive pub visit growth

By Alice Leader

New insight shows that pub visits by men declined by 0.8% in 2019, but there was a 1.6% increase in female customers, who now account for 48.7% of all pub customers.

In-store pub proposal: Lidl plans to integrate a public house into one of its shops

Lidl looks to open first ever in-store pub

By Alice Leader

A Lidl supermarket has lodged an application to open its first pub in one of its stores, with hope of bringing “great value assortment” to its customers.