Well, there is always some sort of up-side to the lockdown news, and the Green Dragon pub on the High Street, at the top of Surrey Street, is doing a “while stocks last” offer of 95p a pint on its real ales and Guinness.
Faced with the unwelcome prospect of a month-long closure, at least, because of coronavirus, the publicans know too well from the experience of the previous lockdown that what they can’t sell now won’t keep until they reopen and will end up having to be poured down the drain.
Mitchells and Butlers, one of the largest pub operators, reported that the first lockdown cost it £11million in waste caused by unsold extra beer in pubs.
“The amount of potential waste caused by a sudden lockdown is staggering – however it is thought that because of the length of notice, and the time of year, the wastage of the second lockdown will be in the region of 7.5million pints, which is way lower than the 70million pints wasted in the first lockdown,” said Charlotte Green from waste company TradeWaste.co.uk.
“Many pubs, restaurants, cafes and food outlets are not allowed to trade during lockdown, and they have lots of food and drink in stock that may well end up in landfill if they aren’t sold before Thursday.”
It is reckoned that pubs and restaurants generate one-third of their annual revenues between Hallowe’en and New Year rush, boosting their company cashflow before heading into the less-busy months of January and February.
Some pubs, like the Greene King-owned Albert Tavern in South Norwood, did not survive the first lockdown’s hit on business, and there’s genuine fear that other locals will not be able to get through this second enforced closure.
From Thursday, pubs won’t be allowed to sell takeaway pints, either, under the government’s revised rules. To beat that ban, the Green Dragon is also offering take-outs at £1.90 for a (bring your own) two-pint container.
While stocks last, of course.
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