Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ Scheme Doesn’t Go Far Enough For Businesses Like Ours

Co-founder of Mother Clucker, Brittney Bean, says the industry - which delivers £39bn in tax a year - deserved more help from the Chancellor's statement.

Rishi Sunak Eat Out To Help Out

by Brittney Bean |
Updated on

Britain operates on a service economy and unfortunately, the coronavirus crisis has made a lot of those services unable to operate to anywhere near their usual ability. Restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs have been closed for nearly four months with very few reopening earlier this month. That’s four months of no revenue, four months of expansion plans grinding to a halt, four months of worry and anxiety and four months burning through cash reserves. As an industry, we have been one of the hardest hit, with millions of people being furloughed (many without the addition of their usual tips via TRONC), tens of thousands already made redundant and revenues near zero.

Mother Clucker
Companies like Mother Clucker have been unable to operate fully for months ©Mother Clucker

While we very much welcome the support already given to us by the government like the Job Retention Scheme, the VAT reduction and the 'Eat Out To Help Out' voucher scheme, these won’t be enough to save millions of jobs. How after months of no revenue are we meant to pay the top ups for our furloughed staff? How are we meant to pay six months of rent to the landlords waiting to hoover up deposits and change the locks? How are we meant to pay to implement a constantly changing array of health and safety measures to our restaurants? We won’t be able to do that with the equivalent of a nationalised Groupon voucher and 30% of our normal revenue. Add a looming no deal brexit to the mix, and it’s not a rosy future for independent brands and businesses.

We can't do all this with the equivalent of a nationalised groupon voucher and 30% of our normal revenue

The industry has been working hard to find ways of staying afloat with many going far outside of their comfort zones in order to keep money coming in. All around the country Michelin starred restaurants, local independents and cafes have been creating greengrocers to feed their local community, trade suppliers who have been solely delivering food to restaurant customers for decade have pivoted to supply consumers with the highest quality produce available and operators across the country have started creating meal kits to recreate dishes at home. No one in hospitality is sitting on their hands waiting for a bailout, they’re waiting for a sensible set of measures to keep their business open and their staff employed until footfall gets back to normal levels.

The industry generates £130bn in annual turnover, contributes £39bn in tax receipts every year and employs over £3.2m people, 60% of which are women, a large percentage are minorities and many are young. These are the people who are most affected by the coming economic crisis, and while we truly do welcome the sector specific support of the government, it needs to address the financial issues underpinning hospitality business across the country. Measures such as a national time out for rents, a sector specific extension of the Job Retention Scheme and further VAT reductions through 2021 could see us bounce back to generating billions of pounds for the UK government. Until then, we’ll all keep coming up with ways to plug the gap by selling D.I.Fry kits nationwide or moving more of our business to a more delivery centric model, but we can’t rely on those forever.

Brittney is the co-founder of Mother Clucker. The company are available on Deliveroo in some areas of London, and have just launched new D.I.Fry kits nationwide.

READ MORE: The Internet Is Obsessed with Rishi Sunak's Accidentally Very Rude New Slogan...

READ MORE: Sorry Jess Glynne, But Being Turned Away From A Restaurant For Wearing Joggers Isn’t Discrimination

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us