The coronavirus respects no one and no tradition – not even that of the great British pub over Christmas.
As the UK’s harsh restrictions continue to make it a difficult Festive Season like no other since the dark days of World War Two, the industry is on track to serve 39-million fewer pints to thirsty Poms than usual.
Just 2.6-million pints this Festive Season
There have also been an estimated 5-million fewer Christmas dinners served in pubs over the period from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.
This is according to figures released by the British Beer & Pub Association, which represents the owners of around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs and most of the UK brewing industry. It is forecasting that the figures will show that just 2.6 million pints and 830,000 Christmas dinners have been served.
Over a normal Festive Season, it would usually expect as many as 41-million pints and 6-million Christmas dinners to be served. Christmas Day sales alone would normally exceed 1-million dinners and 10-million pints.
Can UK’s pubs survive as viable businesses?
The association said the figures show what impact the Government’s tier restrictions are having on pubs and their ability to survive as viable businesses. The recent review of tiers made a bad situation even worse, with 85% of pubs now closed or unable to trade viably due to tier two and three restrictions.
Emma McClarkin, its Chief Executive, said: “This Christmas will be the quietest year on record for our pubs. The current restrictions were devastating enough. But now, with the introduction of tier four and a tightening of the rules over Christmas, consumer confidence [is being] hit further, leading to cancellations and greater financial woes for pubs and brewers.”
She added, “As the heart of the community year-round, but especially at Christmas time, it is such a shame. After such a difficult and challenging year, we all deserve to make the most of the Christmas break with the chance to safely enjoy a drink with family and friends at our local. Especially as our pubs need all the support they can get right now.”