Successful implementation of Trace & Trace is vital

Our recent membership survey reflected that the majority of our pubs have now been able to reopen and begin to rebuild their businesses.  Despite some very encouraging reports on trading levels for certain pubs we recognise that this is not true across the wide range of our pubs that our members operate.

Having visited many of our members’ pubs over recent days I have been so impressed with both the application of new ways of working to protect the safety of customers & staff and the authentic hospitality which is at the heart of our great pubs.  The way that our pubs have reopened safely adapting traditional pubs to meet the Government guidelines in such a short period of time is testament to the professionalism of our pub teams.

You will have seen recent reports focused on certain pubs that appear not be following the Government guidelines or fully supporting the Track and Trace process.  Whilst this has not been my own experience, these cases threaten to undo all the incredible work that you are doing in professionally operating your pubs. 

We do recognise the challenges that you are tackling, not least that many of you have smaller teams, operating new extensive cleaning regimes, capturing customer data for Track & Trace, all whilst many of you are seeing significantly increased trade through the Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) scheme. 

Despite these challenges, many of you have fed back to us that all of the plans you have put in place to ensure your customers are safe, including the introduction of Track & Trace, has made them much more confident to return to your venues. This has been supported by powerful customer reviews online and busy venues, especially during the EOTHO periods from Monday to Wednesday.

Many members have now shared with me their very real concerns on the danger of complacency in this early trading period. Through our direct engagement with Government ahead of reopening, it was made extremely clear the severity of their concerns on the impact of a second wave of the pandemic.  In particular the senior team at the Department of Health left us in no doubt that they would take action to lockdown areas if they felt it was necessary and we saw this happen very early on in Leicester. 

In addition to reopening pubs safely in line with the Government guidelines, full industry support of the Track & Trace process has always been seen as a critical part of controlling the spread of Covid19 and ensuring any required closures could be isolated to specific venues.  We continue to ask Government for ongoing business support to safeguard our pubs and now more than ever we need to ensure that we are doing all we can to fully play our part in controlling this devastating virus.  There is a significant risk of seeing wide spread closures within the hospitality sector if we do not manage this process effectively.

We have extensive resources available to you to support you fully in operating to the guidelines and successfully operating Track & Trace for all the regions of the UK.  They are all available to our members on our website and we will continue to update you directly of any changes via our regular INNFocus email update.

Our most recent survey highlighted the concerns that you, our members have right now;  the impact of a second wave of the pandemic, what post-summer trading will really be like and concerns on how you will get your businesses back to profitability whilst also tackling any debts built up over recent months. 

We have consistently engaged Government both directly and aligned with the key trade bodies throughout this crisis.  We have been encouraged by the specific recognition of the support that has been needed for our pubs and the subsequent extensive package of investment in our sector that the Chancellor has provided so far. 

In our survey many of you reinforced the priorities for Government support moving forward as our pubs recover over the next 18 months to 2 years.  We are working hard with the other key trade bodies in presenting an aligned package of support for our pubs and will ensure this case continues to be made as the Chancellor considers his next steps of required investment in our economic recovery. 

Continuing to professionally manage our pubs, providing safe and accessible venues for customers and staff, will strengthen our case for continued investment as we play our part in the economic recovery and supporting the communities in which we operate.

It has been encouraging to see many of you benefiting from both the summer staycation and Government incentives with VAT reduction and the EOTHO scheme.  I have heard from many members that the now limited capacity they have with managing Government guidelines is being well used by customers new and old. 

They have also shared their experience of what has been working well;  ensuring all their staff are able to engage customers fully in the new way of working, stripping back and refining menus & drinks offers whilst focusing on quality and streamlining their service so they can serve more customers in less time with less staff.  Those that have delivered this and continued to provide a great hospitality experience have seen strong sales and glowing recommendations. 

They have also commented that they are balancing the benefits of improved trading now with building up goodwill to ensure these customers continue to come to their pubs over the coming months.  Many are already looking at ways to continue the momentum they have seen built on the EOTHO scheme with a new offer to continue to keep healthy levels of trade in their traditionally quieter days of the week. As you would expect your BII team will ensure we continue to share these examples across our membership. 

I wish you all the very best with your summer trading and hope you are able to build momentum that will support your businesses moving forward.  The BII will continue to take every opportunity to provide you with clear, actionable information, as one member put it ‘cutting through the white noise from the media and Government’.  We are here for you and will continue to support you on every step of your road to recovery.

Kind Regards

Steven Alton

BII is the trading name of the British Institute of Innkeeping a private company limited by guarantee and registered in England as a charity. Company number 1601185.
Charity number 283945.

Registered office Infor House, 1 Lakeside Road, Farnborough, GU146XP.

British Institute of Innkeeping, Infor House, 1 Lakeside Road, Farnborough, GU14 6XP, United Kingdom