industry

'Visit and make merry, we so need you': Bars, clubs and restaurants appeal to customers


As predicted, hospitality businesses and their staff are really struggling from all the challenges and a third year of disruption. Like many Amazing Grace (https://amazinggraceldn.com/), a beautiful live music bar and dance space in London Bridge’s scenic Borough quarter, says it has been hit hard. Cancellations because of rail strikes have caused the damage.

With great sounds, Grace is perfectly placed for both locals and commuters to shake off the day. Christmas is a key time for K&G Hospitality, the venue business that set it up in 2020 to celebrate founders Vineet Kalra and Ricardo Guimaraes’ passion for food, drink and the city of London.  

“Amazing Grace has lost two private hire reservations equalling more than £50,000 and it’s very quiet on strike days,” says marketing director Sammie Ellard-King.

“The reservations were for major business Christmas functions, so not only have we lost our revenue, customers have lost the chance to wind down at the end of a busy year when they were looking forward to letting off some steam.

“We’ve had to shut the site down as we now don’t have enough reservations for the amount of staff that would have been needed. Twelve of our staff have lost valuable income close to Christmas. While we respect people striking, the timing of it couldn’t have been worse for us. 

“But there is hope if customers old and new can rally round and pay us a visit as soon as they can.”

Responding to the announcement of additional rail strikes impacting the Christmas weekend, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of leading trade body UKHospitality, said: “Our estimate of the cost of these strikes already stood at £1.5 billion in lost sales and it’s incredibly frustrating that a solution has yet to be reached to avoid this disruption during the golden month of trade for our sector. 

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“We’re continuing to urge all parties involved in the negotiations to reach a solution imminently to avoid these harmful strikes.”





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