Restaurant owner loses £25,000 when 540 bookings cancel on day tier 2 announced

The owner of an east London restaurant lost £25,000 in one day after hundreds of customers cancelled bookings when the Government announced the capital would be plunged into tier two lockdown.

Londoners are banned from mixing households indoors from midnight on Friday, forcing millions to rethink their social plans.

Andy Jones, owner of Jones & Sons in Dalston, has blasted the Government’s actions as ‘bull****’ after 540 customers called off their brunch and dinner bookings for Saturday.

The restaurateur is not eligible for a Government grant as his rateable value is high, meaning the Government has offered him almost no financial support during the pandemic.

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He has lost over £600,000 in revenue this year but still has to find the money for his £110,000 annual rent bill.

Mr Jones, who has owned Jones & Sons for eight years, said: ‘It’s ludicrous… this (lockdown) is the worst outcome for hospitality possible.

‘By doing this there will be no support and no one will come to the restaurant… consumer confidence is shot to f****** pieces as it is, now this bull****.’

Ministers recently warned nearly a third of coronavirus infections in the UK are being spread in pubs, cafes and restaurants, although this data comes from a sample of just 400 cases.

Mr Jones has accused the Government of ‘scapegoating’ the struggling hospitality industry.

He said: ‘They are barking up the wrong tree, we clean the restaurant everyday, it’s 4,000 square feet, it costs me a fortune.

‘This bull**** hands, face, space thing… we follow and now we are being persecuted further.

‘We’ve been thrown under the bus by the Government and they aren’t giving us the means to operate successfully to get from under it.’

He added: ‘The furlough scheme was great but it was for workers, not businesses.

‘I also own an events space, don’t get me started on that industry. It’s gone, a complete f****** disaster.’

London is one of a number of areas moving into Tier two of lockdown restrictions on Saturday, along with Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.

Liverpool is the only region living under tier three, but the Government is expected to force the restrictions on Greater Manchester today after local leaders rejected the idea.

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