Coronavirus

Deliveroo warns of ‘grave damage’ to hospitality sector without Government action

Deliveroo CEO and founder Will Shu, alongside 90 restaurant partners, including some of the UK’s leading restaurant brands, have today written to the prime minister to call for action to support the restaurant sector in the face of continuing challenges posed by Covid-19.

The signatories, which collectively represent more than 1,000 restaurants across the UK, include Itsu founder and CEO Julian Metcalfe, Pano Christou, CEO of Pret A Manger, Emma Woods CEO of wagamama, and Neil Manhas, general manager of Pizza Hut.

They state that the crisis for the UK restaurant industry is “far from over”, with thousands of restaurants facing bankruptcy due to ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19.

A recent survey by Deliveroo of small and independent restaurants, conducted soon after lockdown restrictions were introduced, revealed that 52% believed they would be forced to permanently close within the next three months if the current situation continued.

Delivero said the required social distancing measures, combined with a challenging economic environment and changed consumer behaviour, will make it “incredibly difficult for restaurants to reopen, let alone break even”.

The letter also warned that unless urgent action is taken by the Government, “shuttered restaurants in towns and cities across the country will be a permanent reminder of the damage this pandemic has done”.

Deliveroo CEO and founder Will Shu, said: “We are proud to be part of the UK’s restaurant sector, which contributes so much to the UK economy and local communities and is one of the most diverse and vibrant in the world.

“That is why we are urging the Government to implement this package of measures to ensure that the UK’s amazing restaurant industry survives and then thrives.”

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “Restaurants have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Household name brands on every high street have been closed and many will be operating at well below capacity once lockdown ends. These businesses provide employment and are great social hubs in every region.

“As these proposals from Deliveroo and their partner restaurants show, restaurants need urgent support from the Government so that they can help rebuild economies and give people some much-needed enjoyment. Without it, some will close permanently and people’s jobs will be lost.”

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