An update on news from Government and planning for the future of pubs

Dear ,

Last week, we updated you on our activities ahead of the announcement from Government, and the next steps for our industry.

As we head into the weekend, we wanted to let you know what has developed since then, and our plans for the next few critical weeks during the current lockdown phase for your businesses.

Government Taskforces on Reopening

You will hopefully have seen the announcement of the 5 Government task forces that have been set up this week to deal with the safe reopening of all sectors.

This week we have spoken directly to the team at the heart of the Pubs and Restaurants Taskforce at BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) and shared your feedback from our survey results, and also from the everyday interactions that our team have with you, our members.

This specifically covered your questions and concerns on reopening and the ongoing need for government support. This reflected that pubs that can reopen will likely do so at a loss, and some may not be able to open at all. It is critical that your feedback is delivered directly into Government at this time and a strong voice of licensees is fully taken into account. We will continue to directly communicate your ongoing feedback to this Government team.

Reopening – Support and Guidance

We are working collaboratively with the other key trade bodies to develop a set of protocols that you can pragmatically implement to maintain the safety of your customers and your teams as you reopen & operate your pubs moving forward.

We understand completely that you all have unique aspects to your businesses – whether that be related to the layout of your venue, the staff you have available, or the cost implications to reopening safely. We are taking all of those differences and more into account. These protocols are being shared directly with the taskforce and will support their work in providing a final Government set of requirements.

Ultimately, Government will set out the requirements for opening and operating pubs in the coming weeks. We will share this information with you at the very earliest opportunity and provide all the necessary support required to help you understand and implement what action that you need to take.

We understand that many of you are already considering changes to your pubs to enable reopening, however, we would encourage you to continue this key planning, whilst recognising that Government has not confirmed the specific final requirements as yet.

Customer Expectations

For those of you who can do so safely, there are things are likely to be mandatory when reopening (social distancing, hygiene regimes etc.) but there will also need to be additional measures put in place to reassure some of your customers.

We are partnering with KAM Media to get some robust insight for you, our members, to give you as much information on the behaviours and thoughts of your customers as we head towards reopening.

Once this research has taken place, we will be sharing the results directly with you, as an additional member benefit to help you plan your approach, balancing health considerations with a great customer experience.

Business Interruption Insurance
As per our plans last week, the joint letter from ourselves, UK Hospitality, BBPA and SIBA to Insurance Industry leaders has been signed and sent. We have not received any response to our invitation to meet as yet and will be following up on this in the coming days.
Discretionary Grants
We hope that you will have seen on our website and social media channels, the information we have pulled together for you on the discretionary grants that are available.

Whilst this fund is used at the discretion of each local authority, we encourage those of you who have not yet received any grant support to proactively speak to your council to see if they can help you via this channel.

Details of the grant can be found at the bottom of this email with a link to our guide.
Membership Survey
Finally, we are going to release another survey at the end of the month. This will be an opportunity for you to update us on your concerns, as we head towards reopening.

The results from the last survey were discussed at length with the team at the heart of the new Government task force.  We are working directly with them to shape some of the questions to ensure your key concerns with both reopening and the financial realities of your position now and moving forward, are fully understood.

I would ask as many of you as possible to take some time to give us your perspective at this critical time. This will ensure that we have a strongest licensee voice, as small businesses, to influence what is needed to get our fantastic pub sector through this crisis supported by Government and the wider hospitality sector. 

We will ensure that we do everything we can to get you the support that you need, both financially and through sharing best practice to enable your pub to survive this period of huge uncertainty.

Steven Alton,
Chief Executive

Following guidance made available to Local Authorities, the BII have put together a two page guide detailing ways licensees can make use of the Local Authority Discretionary Fund.

As the material put to Local Authorities is quite loose in terms of language, being available to businesses based on their rateable value OR annual rent OR mortgage payments, we urge our members to try applying for this potential funding opportunity.
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