Pub landlord says he's making just £9 profit per day due to new restrictions

James Stevens says that since table service was made compulsory, he has made £9 a day after paying his staff. Credit: PA

A pub landlord says new coronavirus restrictions are going to kill his, and many other small pubs.

James Stevens runs the Chapel House pub in Lower Gornal, Dudley. He says that since table service was made compulsory, he has made £9 a day after paying his staff.

He needs 2 people for waiting on the tables and someone behind the bar. He says he's also had to close his beer garden because he can't staff it.


What are the new rules for pubs?

  • All hospitality venues in England must close by 10pm.

  • Table service is now compulsory. Maintaining social distancing when the bar queue is 3ft deep at last orders was always going to be a challenge so bar service has now been outlawed.

  • As part of what Boris Johnson dubbed "the rule of six", pubs and restaurants are only able to take bookings of up to six people to ensure they are complying with the new rules on social gatherings.

  • Hospitality venues can have more than six people inside in total, but customers on individual tables must not exceed that number.

  • Businesses are legally required to take customers' contact details, so they can be traced if there is an outbreak. 

  • Staff in hospitality venues must now wear masks. Customers must also wear one when they're not seated at their table to eat or drink. The penalty for not wearing one, or breaking the ''rule of six'' has doubled to £200 for a first offence.


Mr Stevens has asked his MP, Marco Longhi to bring up the subject at Westminster and ask for exceptions to be made for small pubs like his. He says the British Legion Club opposite can't afford to re-open, and his pub provides a lifeline to many elderly locals who go there to socialise.

Real ale campaign group, CAMRA, support Mr Stevens' call for help and say many small pubs could be out of business before Christmas.

The concerns for small pubs are widespread. According to a study commissioned by pub and hospitality trade bodies the British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping, a quarter of British pubs and restaurants fear collapse before Christmas unless they get government support.

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