Hospitality industry congregates in Parliament Square for HospoDemo

Millie Milliken

Millie Milliken

19 October 2020

Celebrity chefs, bartenders and sommeliers among the crowds at today's peaceful protest (19 October) at 11am

The sound of banging and shaking of pots, pans, cocktail shakers and ice buckets rang out for nearly 45 consecutive minutes as hospitality workers came out to protest the restrictions on the industry amid Covid-19, at HospoDemo.

Ahead of the protest, which was supported by UKHospitality, London Mayor Sadiq Khan commented: 'I support those from across our hospitality sector protesting today deeply anxious about their future.

'The huge failures in the test and trace system have meant that further Covid restrictions are now necessary, but our bars, restaurants and other venues must now get the extra financial support they need urgently to stay afloat.'

The news cameras were out as big-name chefs including Jason Atherton (The Social Company), Yotam Ottolenghi (Rovi, Nopi) and Fergus Henderson (St John) joined industry workers, journalists and PRs in the protest to call on the government for more support of hospitality as it faces ongoing restrictions during coronavirus.

The drinks trade was also out in force, with the likes of Jan Konetzki (director of wine, Ten Trinity Square), Ian Burrell (global rum ambassador), Alessandro Palazzi (Dukes Bar), Anna Sebastian (and other members of the Artesian bar team), Erik Lorincz (Kwant London), and Monica Berg and Alex Kratena (Tayer + Elementary).

Placards (see a roundup below) included slogans such as: 'Cancel the curfew'; 'Boris, you're barred'; 'Don't bite the hand that feeds you'; 'Resentment is brewing'; and 'You think this is a crowd? You should see the tube at 10.01pm'.

Organiser Rachel Harty praised the crowd on its raucous, 45-minute display and expressed hope that government will listen and no further protests will be needed.

You can follow HospoDemo on Instagram @hospodemo for news on outcomes and any further protests. Here's a collection of placards for some future inspiration:

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