‘With a fair wind’ and furlough Suffolk restaurants can survive a second lockdown, say bosses

Owner Brendan Padfield said the reinstitution of the furlough scheme should allow restaurants in Suffolk to survive the...

Owner Brendan Padfield said the reinstitution of the furlough scheme should allow restaurants in Suffolk to survive the second lockdown Picture: CLAUDIA GANNON - Credit: Archant

The furlough scheme being reinstated should enable restaurants in Suffolk to survive the second lockdown, according to a hospitality boss.

This evening, in an address to the nation, prime minister Boris Johnson announced that from Thursday the country will go into lockdown again.

Hospitality businesses will have to close until the measures are eased – currently this is expected to be December 2.

But during the broadcast Mr Johnson also announced that the furlough scheme would be extended throughout the lockdown – at the original rate of 80%.

Brendan Padfield, owner of the Unruly Pig, said that the new lockdown came as yet another blow for the hospitality industry, but said the furlough scheme would allow him to keep his staff employed.

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He said: “For a beleaguered hospitality sector. This is yet another dreadful blow. However, it is what it is.

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“We just have to face the reality and come out of this as best we can.

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“The hospitality sector is the third biggest employer, however, more significantly it employs a very large number, perhaps more than any other sector, of 18 to 30 year olds.

“The fact that this government has reinstituted the furlough scheme at 80% shows that they still have the back of hospitality. Of course it is not perfect, but I really do believe they are doing their best.

“Of course the crucial point here is whether it is actually four weeks or another three months, but I do feel that this extension of the scheme is going to make a material different for the majority of restaurants in Suffolk. It should enable them to survive, and with a fair wind avoid excessive redundancies.”

Mr Padfield said the Unruly Pig will “turn over the knobs” and focus again on takeaways and “heat at home deliveries”.

“We’ve always kept that service going deliberately,” Mr Padfield said. “And we will now go big time on takeaways and deliveries.

“But let’s be in any doubt, takeaway and deliveries are absolutely no substitute to enable me to keep the 30 or so employees employed.

“The income that we derive from takeaways and deliveries is really welcome. They have been a success, but it is no substitute. We’ll need this further government support.”

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