Greene King called on the government to provide support to prevent further pub closures and job losses. Photo: PA
Greene King called on the government to provide support to prevent further pub closures and job losses. Photo: PA

Pub company Greene King has announced plans to axe around 800 jobs and shut 79 of its pubs after business declined due to the introduction of 10pm hospitality curfew.

A spokeswoman for Greene King said: “The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to government support was always going to make it a challenge to reopen some of our pubs.

“Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 sites, including the 11 Loch Fyne restaurants we announced last week.

“Around one-third will be closed permanently and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future.”

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The UK’s largest pub retailer and brewer runs about 1,700 managed pubs and 1,000 tenanted venues across the UK. The company said they are “working hard with our teams to try and find them a role in another of our pubs wherever possible.”

Greene King called on the government to “step in and provide tailored support to help the sector get through to the spring and prevent further pub closures and job losses.”

UK prime minister Boris Johnson faced a barrage of warnings over the threat to firms and jobs after he unveiled fresh COVID-19 measures for England including a 10pm shutdown for hospitality venues.

UK pub owners expressed their anger with the government, as more than 1,000 publicans signed an open letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak pleading for more support and urging the government to rethink the 10pm curfew.

READ MORE: Pubs and city centre firms warn new coronavirus rules could be a ‘fatal blow’

In the letter organised

Sales at pub, bar and restaurant chains plunged by more than a third on the same period last year after a 10pm coronavirus curfew was imposed across most of the UK, according to new analysis seen by the Guardian that reveals the extent of the impact on hospitality.



Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

The first hard figures from the days after the curfew was imposed drew anger from trade bodies and are likely to reinforce calls to reconsider a measure that critics say only drives people to gather elsewhere, while causing significant economic damage.

Takings at 7,000 chain restaurants, pubs and bars were slightly above 2019 levels last Monday, according to the industry analysts CGA, as the UK enjoyed unseasonably warm weather and venues could operate normal opening hours.

Related: Pubs and restaurants urge PM to review 10pm curfew in England

The next day, after Boris Johnson confirmed rumours of an impending 10pm curfew, sales were 8% down, before slumping further during the week as restrictions came into force, first in England and Wales, then followed by Scotland.

By Friday sales were 37% below the total for the corresponding Friday last year. London and Scotland, where many small city centre pubs have remained closed throughout the pandemic, were 47% and 44% behind 2019 respectively. Late-night bars were the worst hit, with sales on Friday two-thirds below the equivalent day of 2019.



a group of people standing on top of a metal fence: A street in Soho in central London just before the 10pm closure deadline on 24 September.


© Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
A street in Soho in central London just before the 10pm closure deadline on 24 September.

The chief executive of the industry body UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, said the figures were “in line with what we are hearing”. “At this rate, many of them are going to be out of business pretty soon. This curfew was brought in without justification and it is