Companies are being encouraged to take their business meetings to restaurants. This comes after it was confirmed last week by the government that groups from more than one household are allowed to mix inside restaurants in tier 2 areas, as long as it's for business purposes.
Given the difficult position the hospitality industry already finds itself in due to the pandemic, this news has been warmly welcomed by businesses. However, restaurants in London and other tier 2 areas now find themselves more reliant than ever on companies shifting their meetings from the office, to the dinner table. This has led to a number of the restaurant industry's biggest names speaking out about this exception to the rules.
In a statement about business meals, co-founder of restaurant group Corbin & King, Jeremy King said: "It comes as no surprise that we are all finding the rules bewildering but what has emerged is that whilst social occasions need to be from a single household it has been determined that BUSINESS MEETINGS ARE ACCEPTABLE within the rules."
He added: " And can I also point out that since July 4th our 550 staff have served over 250,000 guests at The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel, Colbert, Fischer’s, Soutine and Bellanger - without a single notification of infection neither amongst the staff nor customers."
Meanwhile, CEO of D&D restaurants, Des Gunewardena also made a statement on the matter, saying: "Our restaurants are open for business meetings – which we believe can include lunch or dinner – provided that their primary purpose is business. We are therefore continuing to accept business bookings on this basis."
A number of top chefs recently called for the introduction of a Minister for Hospitality, following the devastating consequences the pandemic has had on the industry, with the petition having garnered over 30,000 signatures already.
Still unsure of the exact rules when it comes to eating out? We've answered all of your questions in this guide to eating out during the pandemic