New London lockdown rules cost restaurant ‘£25,000 in a day’

The owner of an east London restaurant claims he lost over 500 booked customers for a single day due to the new lockdown rules placed on the capital.

Tier 2 Covid-19 measures – which ban households from mixing indoors – will begin in the English capital on From midnight on Friday, meaning many are rethinking social plans.

Andy Jones, owner of Jones & Sons in Dalston, told the PA news agency 540 people who had been booked in for Saturday have now cancelled.

Mr Jones said the lost bookings, which across the day included brunch and dinner, amount to around £25,000 in revenue.

“It’s ludicrous… this (lockdown) is the worst outcome for hospitality possible,” he said.

“By doing this there will be no support and no one will come to the restaurant… consumer confidence is shot to f****** pieces as it is, now this bull****.

Mr Jones said this year he has lost over £600,000 in revenue due to Covid restrictions, but still has a £110,000 annual rent bill to pay.

The owner, who has been operating the restaurant for eight years, said he feels hospitality has been made “the scapegoat” for coronavirus transmissions.

“They are barking up the wrong tree, we clean the restaurant everyday, it’s 4,000 square feet, it costs me a fortune,” he said.

“This bull**** hands, face, space thing… we follow and now we are being persecuted further.

“We’ve been thrown under the bus by the Government and they aren’t giving us the means to operate successfully to get from under it.”

Mr Jones said he is not eligible for a Government grant as his rateable value is high, but believes “this needs to be addressed immediately”.

“The furlough scheme was great but it was for workers, not businesses,” he added.

“I also own an events space, don’t get me started on that industry. It’s gone, a complete f****** disaster.”

Mr Jones said he felt “scaremongering” by the Government and media is damaging the hospitality sectors.

The capital is one of a number of areas moving into Tier 2 of lockdown restrictions on Saturday, along with Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.

Liverpool is the only region currently under Tier 3 restrictions, which include the closure of pubs and bars unless they can operate as restaurants.