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Greene King to axe 800 jobs, close 79 pubs & restaurants

Wed, 7th Oct 2020 14:08

(Sharecast News) - Pub operator Greene King said it was cutting up to 800 jobs and closing 79 pubs and restaurants, saying the decision was due to the government's new Covid-19 curfew and impending end of the job furlough scheme.
The company said around about a third of the outlets will close permanently, with the rest shuttered until they can reopen. The government last week imposed a new 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants as coronavirus cases started to rise.

"The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to government support was always going to make it a challenge to reopen some of our pubs," a spokesman said.

"Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 sites, including the 11 Loch Fyne restaurants we announced last week. Around one third will be closed permanently and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future. We are working hard with our teams to try and find them a role in another of our pubs wherever possible."

The company called on the government to provide "tailored support to help the sector get through to the spring and prevent further pub closures and job losses".

Greene King, based in Suffolk, owns around 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels in total across the UK. The hospitality sector has been struggling to rebound from the lockdown imposed earlier in the year, with social distancing measures, and mandatory table service for food in licensed premises reducing customer numbers.

In addition, the government's furlough scheme, where workers were put on leave on 80% of salary up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, is winding down to be replaced by the less generous Job Support Scheme.

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