Operators urged to join #UKGrandOutdoorCafé campaign

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

15 May 2020

Turning the UK’s streets into a huge outdoor café could allow on-trade businesses to generate revenue again, say the organisers of a new campaign

The brainchild of Alan Lorrimer, founder of The Piano Works, the campaign proposes that seating on pavements, squares and open spaces outside of restaurants and bars be permitted in order to create spaces for alfresco dining whilst allowing people to adhere to physical distancing.

It is calling on the government to issue a directive to grant local authorities a temporary deregulation to allow tables and chairs outside existing hospitality businesses. The proposal requests that operators be allowed the flexibility to extend their current licensing conditions and trading hours with no additional fees charged and zoning regulations until September in order for selected spaces to become designated pedestrianised zones.

The proposal requests that operators be allowed the flexibility to extend their current licensing conditions and trading hours with no additional fees charged and zoning regulations until September.

It also requests that strolling musicians be allowed to entertain outside guests, so that the huge community of unemployed musicians have a way of recouping some of their lost earnings.

‘The government have announced that July is a best-case scenario for restaurants, cafés and bars to re-open albeit with physical distancing, but many operators will struggle to survive with reduced seating, and others may not be able to survive at all,’ a campaign statement says.

'The Grand Outdoor Café is an excellent opportunity to revive the UK’s beloved hospitality industry and bring back some normalcy into our everyday lives. The hugely responsible British public deserve a massive thank you.’

Several operators have shown their support for the campaign including Kiln, Brat, Smoking Goat, St Austell Brewery, Albion and East, The Breakfast Club, Corazon and Poppies.

You can see the full proposal to the government and register your interest at UKGSOC.org.

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