Podcast: Mark Selby on why landlords need to adjust their expectations

By Stefan Chomka

- Last updated on GMT

Mark Selby Wahaca restaurants on landlords

Related tags: UnitedWeStand, Coronavirus, Wahaca, Casual dining, Mexican cuisine

Mark Selby has implored landlords to take a more realistic view on rents during and post the Coronavirus crisis.

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.

To download this podcast via iTunes click here.

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