In a letter to Boris Johnson, organised by Deliveroo and signed by 90 business owners representing more than 1,000 UK restaurants, the Government is being called on to cut VAT on restaurant food, maintain the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) for restaurants while social distancing measures are in place, and intervene further with the issue of rent.
The signatories include Deliveroo CEO and founder Will Shu, Itsu founder and CEO Julian Metcalfe, Pano Christou, CEO of Pret A Manger, Emma Woods, CEO of Wagamama, and Neil Manhas, general manager at Pizza Hut.
The submission to the Government includes a series of key policy proposals based on consultation by Deliveroo with partners large and small, from leading national chains to small high street independents.
These include the Government maintaining the JRS for the restaurant sector for as long as social distancing measures are in place and committing to subsidising wages of restaurant staff through the scheme if they return full time.
It also calls on the Government to cut VAT on restaurant food for as long as social distancing measures are in place to enable restaurants to stimulate demand to maximise revenues.
The letter also asks for the Government to introduce ‘mortgage holidays’ for landlords to give financial breathing space to restaurants in the form of lower rents, and an extension of the moratorium on evictions for as long as social distancing measures prevent restaurants from operating at full capacity.
Other actions being called for in the letter include a Government-led campaign aimed at communicating the facts to the public about food safety the easing of regulations on restaurants to allow them to operate as takeaway services under Permitted Development Rights as the Government has allowed them to do on a temporary basis during the lockdown.
“As these proposals from Deliveroo and their partner restaurants show, restaurants need urgent support from the Government so that they can help rebuild economies and give people some much-needed enjoyment. Without it, some will close permanently and people’s jobs will be lost,” says chief Executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls.
"We are proud to be part of the UK’s restaurant sector,“ says Deliveroo’s Shu. “That is why we are urging the Government to implement this package of measures to ensure that the UK’s amazing restaurant industry survives and then thrives.”