Speaking on BigHospitality's United We Stand podcast, Wahaca's co-founder says that landlords have pushed up rents to unmanageable levels and that a readjustment is required to avoid an exodus of tenants and empty restaurant sites that can't be filled.
"Operators over the last five or six years have been absolutely screwed and that's screwed consumers and the high street," says Selby, highlighting that many of his sites have seen rent increases of over 100% over a five year period.
"Quite honestly the landlords have pushed too much and been too greedy and that's now coming back to bite them. There are going to have to be some adjustments going forward irrespective of this proposed rent-free period."
Selby - who operates 28 Mexican restaurants across the UK - is backing the nine month pause on rent payments that's currently being sought for hospitality businesses. London Union’s Jonathan Downey is this week submitting his formal proposal to the Treasury next week for his #NationalTimeOut campaign.
"The cash demands of rent when you're not getting the income from the site is crippling to every business. But it can't just be us, landlords need to have an interest free period on their properties too," says Selby.
#UnitedWeStand has been created by William Reed hospitality titles BigHospitality, Restaurant magazine and Morning Advertiser and is supported by Arla Pro, Britvic, Coca-Cola European Partners, McCain and Unilever Food Solutions.
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