Greene King to close pubs, cutting 800 jobs (Report)

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Greene King to close pubs, cutting 800 jobs (Report)
Greene King to close pubs, cutting 800 jobs (Report)

A MAJOR pub operator with outlets across York is axing hundreds of jobs and shutting dozens of venues after trade slumped following the 10pm hospitality curfew.

Greene King is understood to have begun a consultation with 800 employees about a redundancy process.

Greene King, which was bought by a Hong-Kong real estate giant last year, is one of the UK’s biggest hospitality firms, with 3,100 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK.

The company said it will keep 79 of its sites shut for the time being, with around one third of these closures expected to be permanent.

The venues affected have not yet been confirmed, but Greene King’s pubs in York include the Windmill Inn, Blossom Street, the Golden Lion, Lendal Cellars, Ye Olde Starre Inne, Ainsty, Flying Legends, Quaker Wood and Pear Tree Farm along with Loch Fyne restaurant.

It called on the Government to provide support for the hospitality sector while tightened restrictions, such as the recent 10pm curfew, remain in place.

A spokeswoman for Greene King said: “The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to Government support was always going to make it a challenge to reopen some of our pubs.

“Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 sites, including the 11 Loch Fyne restaurants we announced last week.

“Around one-third will be closed permanently and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future.

“We are working hard with our teams to try and find them a role in another of our pubs wherever possible.

“We urgently need the Government to step in and provide tailored support to help the sector get through to the spring and prevent further pub closures and job losses.”

The announcement comes after warnings from pub, restaurant and bar bosses that the curfew and other restrictions will result in swathes of job losses across the sector.

Last week, the boss of rival Fuller’s said that around a tenth of its almost-5,000 employees could face redundancy without further state support.

The bosses of London-focused groups Young’s and City Pub Group also warned that they might have to axe hundreds of roles when furlough ends later this month.

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