Birmingham operator Sam Morgan leads judicial review against government’s tier three hospitality closures
Sam Morgan (pictured), who operates Craft and 8 in Birmingham, will launch a judicial review in the High Court against the government, challenging the basis of the decision to close the hospitality sector in tier three in a bid to curb the pandemic. Morgan is being backed by 256 businesses, mostly from the second city, under the heading of the Birmingham Hospitality Group.
The Birmingham Hospitality Group is demanding more scientific data to support its decision to close pubs and restaurants in tier three areas. If it cannot do so, the legal action calls for greater financial support. Morgan said: “The decision to close hospitality is unfair and inconsistent. Data shows the sector is responsible for less than 2% of transmission since July 2020. Previously, within the tier system, the government applied closure orders to numerous sectors, however, in this new system it is only the hospitality sector that is closed.”
He claimed the data being used by the government, which was posted on its gov.uk website on 27 November, relies on the same information it held in February and that leans on information taken from restaurants in the Far East.
He said: “If the data was known in February, why did the government allow the sector to open in July 2020, allowing the sector to reduce social distancing from two metres to one metre and initiate an economy-driven initiative such as Eat Out To Help Out. The data that relates to the infection rates per 100,000 is flawed, the flaw is fundamentally that the calculation is based on how many people live in an area at the time of the last census – that being 2011.”
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Barburrito chairman Graham Turner (pictured) has led a new investment in the business, alongside other private investors, backing the existing management team of Morgan Davies, founder and chief executive and Steve Herring, finance director. Previous investor Business Growth Fund has exited the business. The deal protects 14 stores and over 270 jobs via a corporate restructure, which has been led by restructuring specialists RSM. Three stores are to close – Aberdeen Union Square, Edinburgh Lothian Road, Manchester Deansgate. The Edinburgh and Manchester teams have transferred to other stores in the same city. Morgan Davies, said: “I am delighted that we have secured the future of Barburrito, just ahead of our 15th birthday. The last few months have been extremely challenging for the whole sector. The high street is changing fast and my heart goes out to all those affected. Despite this, we have done really well in the stores that have remained open and, in particular, we have demonstrated the success of our delivery offering. In common with many in our sector, the closures and liabilities accrued during lockdown have resulted in us having to restructure the business. However, with the new investment, support of our landlords and the hard work of our fantastic teams, Barburrito is now well positioned to succeed in this new landscape.” Graham Turner added: “Morgan and the team have developed a great business which was poised for fast growth just before the pandemic hit.
We have teamed up with Propel Multi Club conference series partners to offer the sector their expertise. Partners will offer more general advice and highlight some of the initiatives they are doing.
Companies supporting the BeatTheVirus campaign include Airship, Bums on Seats, CACI, Christie & Co, COREcruitment, CPL Learning, Cynergy Bank, Elliotts, Hastee, haysmacintyre, John Gaunt & Partners, KAM Media, Prestige Purchasing, S4labour, Startle, Ten Kites, The NPD Group, Toggle, Trail, Venners, Wireless Social, Yapster and sector trade body UKHospitality.
Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “It is amazing to see how the industry has come together during this crisis and here at Propel we want to do our bit. This is why we are working with Multi Club partners to offer expert support and advice to our readers and to answer their questions at what is a tough time for everyone.”
Readers can email questions for our experts to email@example.com. Please use BeatTheVirus in the subject line.
More than 300 readers have now signed up to Propel Premium – while those joining the new-look Propel Premium Club can save money by receiving a pair of free tickets to one of four conferences in 2020.
Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, discounts to attend Propel conferences and events, and regular columns from insights editor Mark Wingett. Subscribers also receive access to our database of multi-site companies, which has grown to 1,500 businesses.
Meanwhile, subscribers to the new-look Propel Premium Club will be able to choose to use a pair of free tickets to one of the following conferences – The Delivery Conference (Tuesday, 21 April), The Finance and Investment Conference (Thursday, 14 May), The Casual Dining Summit (Monday, 12 October) or The New Concept Conference (Monday, 19 October). The normal cost of two tickets to these events is £490 plus VAT for operators and £690 plus VAT for suppliers.
An annual premium subscription costs £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Operators can map their marketing strategy for 2020 through a video collection that features all sessions from the Social Media for Profit Masterclass. The videos reveal how to build sales and brands using social media and are taken from the social media boot camp hosted by Mark McCulloch (pictured), who has more than 20 years’ brand, marketing, digital and social media experience that includes senior positions at Pret A Manger and YO!
McCulloch reveals the hot trends and tips for 2020 and what social media strategists should focus on including channels, content and untapped areas you may be neglecting. He also reveals how businesses can grow their reach by creating a personal brand and using their most senior people to make that brand more human, relevant and accessible.
McCulloch is joined in the video series by Alison Battisby, founder and director of social media consultancy Avocado Social, who has ten years of social media experience and is a Facebook-accredited trainer. She reveals the best way to use Instagram to drive bookings and the do’s and don’ts of working with influencers. She also reveals how to ensure your social media adverts are working successfully.
Meanwhile, Move Digital founder and managing director Geraint John reveals why voice activation is so important, what it can do for your business, where to start and how to build your voice strategy before you launch a new way to reach your customers that will leave your competitors behind. The full video collection is £295 plus VAT.
To order, call Anne Steele on 01444 817691 or email email@example.com
The Propel Friday Wrap:
Featuring Mark Stretton, Mark Wingett and James Horler
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The Supplier Perspective
Mark Wingett talks to Krishnan Doyle
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The virtual People and Training Conference
in association with the BII
Abi Dunn talks to Karen Bates, people director at BrewDog
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