Pubs get extension to sell takeaway pints and food - but say they need more

The Cottage pub on Thunder Lane in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Adrian Judd

The Cottage pub on Thunder Lane in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Adrian Judd - Credit: Archant Norfolk 2011

Pub owners have said new measures to extend takeaway food and pints for another year do not go far enough but are a step in the right direction.

Prince of Denmark in Denmark Road, Norwich. Picture: Prince of Denmark

Prince of Denmark in Denmark Road, Norwich. Picture: Prince of Denmark - Credit: Prince of Denmark

The government announced on Wednesday that pubs, restaurants and bars will be able to carry on selling drinks and meals to take away without the need for planning permission until March 2022.

The relaxed regulation was introduced in March to shore up the hospitality industry and was due to expire next year.

But while pub owners in Norwich welcome the decision, they believe the measures should be more far-reaching to support a struggling industry.

Dan Trivedi, owner of the Prince of Denmark on Denmark Road, said: “It is certainly a move forward rather than backwards and these are all great measures.

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“I recognise the government is restricted and needed to shut pubs again, but the help we need to stay afloat on top of furlough and grants need to be increased. I don’t think the grant is a realistic support package outside of staff costs.”

Mr Trivedi also said the government had failed to inform pub owners about restrictions.

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It comes after the decision to prevent pubs from selling alcohol during the second lockdown was reversed to allow the sale of drinks if they are pre-ordered.

He said: “With the most recent lockdown the most frustrating thing was no takeaway alcohol. Every pub then reacted to minimise waste through things like selling beer off cheaply.

“When that u-turn happened, it meant that pubs had to react again and it was already a difficult market to manage business. It would help if the government gave us warning for any measures good or bad.”

Lorraine Garlick, landlady at The Cottage in Thorpe St Andrew, said it was “not easy to survive” even with support schemes.

They have sold takeaway food since the first lowdown, but Ms Garlick said it accounts for less than 10pc of revenue.

She added: “The takeaways just cover wages for chefs and our overheads. It literally keeps us ticking over and gives us enough to survive on.

“Extending the takeaways for another year is a good thing, but, for us, it is not really a massive thing that will make a huge difference.”

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