A London pub landlord will start selling scampi and chips for just £ 3 next week if forced to sell an "essential meal" to every drinker under Tier 2 restrictions.
Gary Murphy of Ye Old Miter at High Barnet said it was impossible to grill his regular £ 10 dishes for every punter, so deep-fry everything for a cheap price.
He's one of thousands of landlords across England steeling themselves for another bruise month after almost the entire country was placed in the top two levels.
After weeks of uncertainty, hospitality bosses discovered their fate today when the national lockdown ends on December 2nd.
Venues in Tier 3 regions such as Manchester and Newcastle can only be opened for takeout, which has been called a 'hammer blow' for the beleaguered sector.
And in tier 2 pubs alcohol can only be served if it is bought with a “substantial meal”, so that pubs with drinks weigh up whether the trade is economically viable at all.
Gary Murphy of Ye Old Miter at High Barnet said it was impossible to grill his regular £ 10 dishes for every customer, so deep-fry everything for a cheap price
After weeks of uncertainty, hospitality bosses discovered their fate today when the national lockdown ends on December 2nd
Mr Murphy, who makes 97 percent of his profits from drinks, has revamped his menu so his regulars aren't deterred from stopping by for drinks.
Customers can buy either scampi, chicken or a burger and chips for just £ 3, he told MailOnline.
Typically the pub sells 8 ounce "all ingredients" burgers for £ 10 which takes 20 minutes on the grill.
But Mr Murphy said it was impossible to do this for every customer in his tiny kitchen, so he's replacing it with a deep-fried burger without a bun.
He said today, “I think the meal requirement is nonsense, but I open up out of desperation. I may not be making a profit, but hopefully I will no longer make a loss. & # 39;
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced today which regions should fall within the three alert levels next week
London and Liverpool are ranked Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are on the bottom tier
Industry leaders stayed behind on the announcement, urging the government to release the criteria on which the decision on levels was based
He has not drawn any personal income from the business since March and has used up his savings and relied on his wife's job.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced today which regions should fall within the three alert levels next week. London and Liverpool are ranked Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are on the bottom tier.
Industry leaders stayed behind on the announcement, urging the government to release the criteria on which the decision on levels was based.
They lined up to expose the ongoing devastation that awaits the hospitality sector over the winter if measures persist.
Westminster, in the heart of the city with its vibrant nightlife, announced that it is restarting its successful outdoor dining initiative. Pictured: Soho before the lockdown
Sacha Lord, Manchester Nightly Economic Manager, said, “Tier 3 is another hammer blow to Greater Manchester hospitality. Another day of the carrot and stick government game.
What does the law say about pubs serving a "substantial meal"?
There have been some doubts about the exact definition, and housing clerk Robert Jenrick suggested last month that a Cornish pasty would only fall under the rules if it was put on a plate of salad or french fries.
The generally accepted definition is that it has to be a real meal and not chips, nuts or other snacks.
But as far as the law goes:
Health (Coronavirus, COVID-19 Local Alert) (Very High) (England) 2020
Obligation to close down businesses that sell alcohol for consumption on the premises 16.
- (1) A person responsible for conducting a business in a public house, bar, or other business that sells alcohol for consumption on the premises shall cease doing that business unless paragraph ( 2) applies.
- (2) This paragraph applies if alcohol is only served as part of a table meal on the premises for consumption and the meal can be expected to be served as a main lunch or dinner or as a main course at either such meal.
- (3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) –
- (a) Alcohol sold by a hotel or other accommodation as part of room service is not considered to be sold for consumption on its premises.
- (b) An area adjacent to the business premises where seating is provided to customers of the business (whether or not they are from the business) or where customers gather to drink outside of the business is part of the business to deal with from this business.
- (4) For the purposes of this paragraph, a "table meal" means a meal eaten by a person seated at a table or counter or other structure that serves the purposes of a table and is not used for serving refreshments for consumption by persons who are not seated at a table or structure that serves the purposes of a table.
& # 39; Our R-rate is going down thanks to the public. Let's see if they'll try to score again when we get closer to Tier 2. We will keep fighting. & # 39;
There has been a mixed reaction in the capital, with Londoners both relieved to have ducked Tier 3 but feared that even Tier 2 restrictions could curb the engine of the UK economy.
The vibrant nightlife district of Westminster in the heart of the city announced that it is relaunching its successful outdoor dining initiative.
Rachael Robathan, Chair of Westminster City Council, said, “The second tier status leaves an incredibly challenging month ahead for our thousands of pubs and bars.
"Our priority as the local council is to do whatever we can to help them survive, including expanding the capital's largest outdoor restaurant into the winter so that households can enjoy hospitality together outdoors."
Lead restaurateur Richard Caring, who owns chains like The Ivy and Bill & # 39; s, said he was "very glad" that London was in Tier 2, but if it had been in Tier 3 we "might as well have that Being able to turn off the light ".
He told MailOnline: & # 39; These so-called politicians are only advised by scientists and not by commercial reality. They destroy people faster than this virus. & # 39;
Mr Caring added, “The fact that these infections are declining so rapidly is shortsighted and ignorant of what they did in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.
"This will sign a death sentence for the areas that have been on their knees since March."
The Pubs Campaign, the Forum of British Pubs and the British Pub Federation have launched a petition calling on the government to come up with an urgent trade support package.
Pubs and restaurants have borne the brunt of the restrictions throughout the pandemic and have been closed in both national lockdowns.
The handful of pubs in Tier 1 weren't surprisingly optimistic for the months ahead, however.
Victoria Calder, who operates the Anchor and Pier View in Cowes and the lifeboat in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, told MailOnline: “It's great news and we are very pleased indeed.
“There are quite a few regulars who come during the day and just want to have a drink and would be disappointed if they couldn't.
"You can't mix households in tier 2 either, which isn't good for the upcoming Christmas party, but the phone has been ringing since the announcement this morning."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus Lockdowns (t) London