Pub curfew will affect ‘consumer confidence’ says restaurant manager

The Cock in Hemingford Grey

The Cock in Hemingford Grey PICTURE: Oliver Thain - Credit: Oliver Thain

The 10pm curfew will have a knock-on effect on consumer confidence, says pub and restaurant manager Oliver Thain.

Mr Thain, managing director of Cambs Cuisine, which runs The Cock, in Hemingford Grey, believes that not only will pubs that purely sell drinks will be affected but pubs that sell food too, because it could knock consumer confidence.

He said: “It will have an effect on sales in The Cock on a Friday and Saturday night, because these are our key nights for trading. “Customers will no longer be able to book a table at 9pm and we will quite literally have to close the doors at 10pm, it won’t be a case of last orders.

“The latest someone will be able to book a table will be 8:30pm and we have increased our opening times, so that we open at 5:30pm to the public in the evenings.

Oliver believes that pubs that purely sell drinks from 10pm till 1am will be ‘most hard hit’, he said: “I think for us, it is going to affect consumer confidence within our pub, we have worked really hard to make it a Covid safe environment.

“It’s when the government makes these announcements it might make people afraid to dine out again.

“It’s going to be awful for late night bars and pubs that would usually have regular punters drinkers in, as they are going to lose these sales.”

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Oliver Cromwell pub landlords Joseph Overden and Jemma Yeowart, in St Ives, also believe their pub could suffer financially.

Jemma said: “On Friday and Saturday we will suffer, in terms of income because we usually take a lot of sales from 10pm-12:30am.

“We have just started serving food again from Tuesdays to Sundays, so we hope we can get some sales through this instead.

“We still have some staff on furlough, so it has been a challenge, but we are doing the best we can.”

Under the new restrictions, all pubs, bars and restaurants in England and Scotland are to provide table service only and must shut no later than 10pm.

It comes as fines of up to £10,000 for refusing to self-isolate come into force in England and thousands of students are self-isolating in university accommodation across the UK.