Marston’s pub chain to axe 2,150 jobs due to new coronavirus restrictions

PUB chain Marston’s plans to cut 2,150 jobs due to the impact of the government’s new coronavirus restrictions across the UK.

The pub chain, which owns around 1,400 boozers nationwide, says 2,150 of its workforce are at risk of losing their jobs with a decision on roles expected by December.

Martston's pub chain says 2,150 of its workforce are at risk of losing their jobs


Martston’s pub chain says 2,150 of its workforce are at risk of losing their jobsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Marston’s made the announcement in a trading update today, which revealed pub sales were down 34% to £515million in the year to October 3, 2020 compared to the same period last year.

It blames a new 10pm curfew on entertainment businesses in England, as well as the requirements for full table service, face masks to be worn by guests and employees, and further forced closures in Scotland.

The pub adds that while 10,000 of its workers have returned to work following lockdown, a further 2,150 still on furlough are now at risk.

It follows similar measures announced by rival chain Greene King earlier this month, which confirmed 26 sites will permanently shut, while a further 53 will temporarily close with their future remaining in the balance.

Restaurant and food chain job losses

A NUMBER of high-profile restaurant and food chains have announced job cuts following the coronavirus crisis.

  • Zizzi owner Azzurri Group announced in July 2020 that it would permanently shut 75 branches, putting 1,200 jobs at risk
  • Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group has proposed closing 125 branches, with 3,000 jobs on the line
  • Byron Burger is shutting 31 restaurants, around half of its UK sites, with 600 jobs at risk
  • Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge have announced the closure of 91 restaurants, with 1,900 jobs to go
  • Carluccio’s is cutting 1,000 jobs with 40 restaurants to shut
  • Costa Coffee is axing 1,650 jobs – it hasn’t announced any store closures at this stage
  • GBK is closing 26 restaurants and making 362 workers redundant
  • Pizza Express has confirmed it’ll be closing 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk
  • Pret a Manger is cutting 2,800 jobs with 30 stores to close
  • Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
  • Wetherspoons is planning to cut 450 jobs from six pubs, as well as 130 head office roles.
  • Whitbread (which owns Brewers Fayre, Premier Inn and Beefeater) is planning to cut 6,000 jobs as hotel demand slumps.
  • Young’s is making 500 out of 4,200 staff redundant.


Around 800 staff across the 79 affected Greene King sites are now in consultation with the chain about being made redundant.

It too pointed the blame at the 10pm curfew.

The news comes as new figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics reveal that 673,000 UK jobs have been lost since the crisis began, taking the jobless total to a three-year high of 1.52million.

Meanwhile, a fifth of bosses say they’re planning to make 10% of workers redundant by the end of the year.

The government’s furlough scheme protecting jobs is set to end this month on October 31.

Pubs have been hard hit by a coronavirus enforced lockdown in March, which meant only those operating takeaways could continue to trade.

Marston’s says by July 4 it had reopened 99% of its pubs but it has since been forced to close eight pubs in Scotland, while 18 pubs in Liverpool have been impacted by new restrictions there.

Coronavirus is a devolved issue so separate regional rules are in place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

England now operates a three-tier coronavirus system, which will see pubs and bars located in tier three zones having to close unless they serve food.

At present, Liverpool is the only region in tier three.

In the statement Marston’s said: “The introduction of these further restrictions and guidance affecting pubs is hugely disappointing in
view of a lack of clear evidence tying pubs to the recent increase in infection levels, and our own data which suggests that pubs are effective in minimising risks.”

Fifth of bosses expect to axe 10% of workers by the end of the year – with legal office and health staff most at risk


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