See you when I see you
Wherever you are reading this issue of Pub & Bar, I hope it has found you in good health and resilient spirits – two essential qualities that all of us can hope for at the moment.
Over my many years of overseeing this magazine, we have written about and guided readers through disruptions and challenges of monumental scale, but nothing like what the recent weeks have thrown at the industry. From Boris Johnson’s guidance for people to avoid pubs and bars, all the way through to a countrywide lockdown that saw all of your venues ordered to close. Many have joked that we are all, in fact, in an ultra-sophisticated episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror and that at any moment the credits will roll, and normality will resume. If only.
For the horrible truth is that no one knows when our lives and our industry will be back to how they once were. In a press conference held the day before we sent this issue to the printers, the nation was told that it could be six months before life in the UK returns to ‘normal’. However, Dr Jenny Harries, England’s deputy chief medical officer, did add: “This is not to say we would be in complete lockdown for six months.” So, there’s that. Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners, responded on Twitter by saying a six-month lockdown would “damage overall health, livelihoods and the nation’s finances worse than the virus”. The online stratosphere continues to orbit crammed with opinions and theories. Travel there with caution.
In your April 2020 edition of Pub & Bar, we have of course addressed the topic of COVID-19 and how the industry has reacted to the epidemic. As with any crisis that hits the on-trade, it is never long before we start receiving news and case studies on how robust operations have adapted and continued to serve their local communities. You’ll find examples of such businesses in our news pages (page six
onwards) and in our feature article on the story so far (from page 18
It’s also worth highlighting that some of this issue was planned and written before your businesses were told to cease trading, so, as always, you will find in-depth articles on specific categories and operational opportunities, which I hope you will read with one optimistic eye on the future. I, for one, can’t wait to visit as many of your venues as possible when this is all over, and I am sure there are millions of people who are thinking the same.
Tristan O’Hana - Editor