The latest updates on the reopening of pubs

With yesterday’s news that pubs and restaurants can now be brought out of hibernation from the 4th of July, I wanted to write to you all to share our plans to support you going forward.

At the bottom of this email, and also on our website, is a mini-guide, helping you to plan for the safe reopening of your business. It links directly to the official Government guidance, but also to the protocols created by the BII, BBPA and UKH, submitted to the Taskforce at BEIS last month. Though similar, there are some parts of the protocols that may give you additional ideas around how to achieve best practice in your pub.

In addition to this guidance and information, you will hopefully have seen that we have recently brought on board a new Helpline Partner in Shield Safety Group, who are providing all BII Members with a free Risk Assessment template & companion guide, based around that guidance. You will also be supported in completing that Risk Assessment by using the free EHO Practitioner Helpline, which is now part of the suite of expert advice you have access to as a BII Member.
The wait for the confirmation of the 4th of July, the reduction to 1m and the publication of the guidance has been a long one, full of media speculation and uncertainty. The relief felt yesterday that we can finally begin to reopen hospitality is, I’m sure, tinged with more uncertainty for many of you.

We know from our surveys of you, our members, that 10% of you will still not be able to reopen your venues. We hope that the guidance from Government is flexible enough to give you the confidence to open again soon, but we also want to reiterate that our support for members is not all about getting open again, no matter the costs.

We understand that as licensees, your instinct is to get back to business and welcome people to your venues, and ensuring the safety of your staff and customers alike. However, for the majority of you, there are real concerns about the viability of opening and whilst making a loss.

We want you to know that however you are approaching the reopening of your pub we will support you with our Legal, Licensing, EHO, Landlord, Tax and Business Rate Helplines as well as the BII Team who are here for you to answer any questions you may have and point you in the right direction.

Regardless of whether you feel able to open next week or not, we are also calling on Government to support you further, as we all know the road to recovery for our industry will be a long and difficult one.

We have been in constant communication with Government, asking for additional business support whilst any distancing measures are in place, including the following:

  • Continued FULL furlough for pubs to enable you to keep your staff protected until you are able to open and operate profitably
  • Extension to grants that were given to pubs to see us through the initial 3 month closure period
  • The lifting of the £51k RV barrier that has prevented 20% of pubs from getting any financial assistance at all
  • Extension of the upper limit for Bounce Back loans – for those who want to access funding, these have been much easier secure than CBILS
  • An extension to the Business Rates holiday, taking it through to April 2022, plus the completion of a fundamental reform of the Business Rates system
  • Stimulation of consumer confidence for our industry through incentives such as a cut in VAT

We will release more help, support and guidance in the near future, covering issues such as data protection when collecting customer data, and communicating all of your plans to staff and customers.

We are already hearing from members some of the great ideas that they have to tackle reopening and would love to hear from more of you to enable us to share that best practice with you all.

You will also shortly be receiving the Summer Edition of the BII News, specifically sharing ideas and innovation from our members and expert advice on the next steps for your business.

We will be checking in with you in mid-July for another member survey, to see how many of you are open, what challenges you are facing, what positive changes you have made that have helped you develop and diversify your business, and the financial realities of early trading. This will ensure that we continue to adapt the support that your BII Team delivers and provide clear evidence to Government of the requirement for continued business support.

In the meantime, please be assured that your BII Team are working hard to ensure we get you the help and support you need at this critical time for your livelihoods.

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