Following the UK government’s new restrictions, Adrian Ellis, General Manager at The Lowry Hotel and Chair of Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA) gives his opinion on what this means for the UK hospitality industry in the short term and what the future looks like.
“As of 00:00 on Thursday 5 November, The River Restaurant, The Lowry Lounge, and Bar and The Lowry Spa will all close temporarily. The hotel will remain open for business guests only, sadly we can no longer accept leisure guests. We will remain open for pre-booked business groups throughout the month of November and will remain available for future business group inquiries until we can re-open to the public in December, following additional guidance from the government.
We will have minimal staff working on the premises to serve our business guests and will be offering a room-service breakfast only. Sadly, the new regulations have once again decimated the UK’s hospitality industry, which had just begun to dust itself down and assess the damage after the effects of the first UK lockdown.
For The Lowry Hotel and hotels across the UK, there was light at the end of the tunnel, the business was picking back up and, as we moved closer to Christmas there was a sense of (new) normality.
At the moment, the trajectory to re-opening and the long-term story is very unclear, as no one yet knows when they can return to work and what will happen pre and post-Christmas. It is disappointing we need to adopt these measures and we are all deeply saddened the industry is once again in this vulnerable position, however, we fully understand for the health of the country, why we must adopt these measures.
To aid the impact, we need to see the extension of the 5% VAT into 2021 and for the government’s furlough scheme to continue beyond December, as things will not bounce back come December 3rd. The hospitality industry requires additional grants to support areas of the business which are closed for the foreseeable, including events, conference and banqueting facilities, and bars, and restaurants.
We will need a mass push for normality to resume. The industry struggled the first time around, our cities were left empty with people working from home and businesses simply cannot survive, we need people back in the city when it is safe to do so.”
Despite the difficulties we are currently facing, we look forward to a brighter 2021, when we expect to see growth in the industry, and hope for a positive trajectory from Spring onwards.”