The Red Lion Pub across Downing Street boasts a roaring trade from politicians, but pubs of the same name across the UK are being hit by the pandemic and mixed messages of No. 10.
After Boris Johnson urged people to “think carefully” before venturing into the festive break, a snapshot poll of The Mail On Sunday’s Red Lion Pubs found that 90 percent of Christmas revenues were down from 2019.
A third of Red Lion pubs said it was “likely” or “very likely” that they would have to close permanently if another lockdown was imposed in the New Year.
Landlady Jenne Mason-Marper in her Red Lion Inn pub, Litton, Derbyshire
A fifth said they would have to close when the “rule of six” returned, which limits gatherings to six people from two households.
Almost half saw celebratory sales fell more than 50 percent from pre-pandemic levels, while a fifth reported trading fell as much as 75 percent.
Nine out of ten Red Lions reported having suffered booking cancellations, with two-thirds losing up to half of their table bookings.
“Our trade just died because people were too nervous to go out and celebrate over Christmas,” said Jeanne Mason-Marper, who runs the Red Lion in Litton, Derbyshire.
“Things are worse now than they were when it reopened after the last lockdown.”
Last month the government announced new grants of £ 2,700 to £ 6,000 to help pubs, but the average UK venue lost £ 10,000 in the week leading up to Christmas alone, according to industry association UK Hospitality.
The Red Lion Pub (pictured) across Downing Street boasts a booming trade from politicians
Chris East, who heads Ye Olde Red Lion at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor in East Yorkshire, said: “We are receiving a grant of £ 2,700 which nearly covers our wages for a week. We would have been better off completely closed. ‘
Pubs campaign director Greg Mulholland warned that pubs are “drowning in debt.”
In our survey of 33 pubs, landlords were divided about the government’s support package: 39 percent rated it as “bad” or “very bad” and 37 percent as “good” or “very good”.
A Treasury Department spokesman said: “We have supported jobs and people’s incomes during the pandemic through our £ 400 billion support package, and we will continue to do so through our additional £ 1 billion hospitality and leisure support package.” . “