Staff at Eastbourne pubs and restaurants put at risk of redundancy

The parent company of a number of Eastbourne pubs and restaurants has warned thousands of staff they may lose their jobs.

Mitchells & Butlers venues – under Vintage Inns, Oaktree Pubs, Harvester and Toby Carvery – include the Duke of Devonshire, the Harvester at Sovereign Harbour, Toby Carvery in Willingdon Drove, Beachy Head Pub, Horse & Groom at Polegate, Cuckmere Inn at Exceat and the Lamb at Hooe.

On Monday evening Mitchells & Butler announced it was consulting staff over job cuts.

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A spokesperson said the industry was operating in “exceptionally challenging and uncertain circumstances”.


The spokesperson said, “While we have worked incredibly hard to makes sites Covid-19 secure and keep staff and customers safe, we are facing significant difficulties from the recently introduced 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, new enforced closures and tapering government support that doesn’t go far enough.

“Mitchells and Butlers, like many others in the sector, has taken the very difficult and regrettable decision to open redundancy consultations with a number of our front-line team and will seek to redeploy affected staff wherever possible.

“With trading restrictions and uncertainty likely to continue for the foreseeable future, we strongly urge the government to step up the level of support it is offering to an industry which has been repeatedly singled out and taken the full brunt of restrictions.”

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Regarding possible closures of venues, the spokesperson said, “We have reopened the majority of our pubs, bars and restaurants since restrictions were initially lifted. Given the challenging trading restrictions, expected footfall and the layout of some of our businesses a small number are yet to reopen, but we are constantly reviewing these on a case-by-case basis.”

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