In light of the Government’s announcement today, we are temporarily closing the doors of all our 320 pubs and hotels across Kent, London and the South East tonight (Friday, March 20). We will also be temporarily closing our brewery shop at 17 Court Street, Faversham and our online shop.
This crisis has been extremely worrying for our licensees, our employees and our customers, however we warmly welcome the package of measures put in place by the Chancellor this evening. Although there are still details to be understood, this appears to provide a lifeline for many businesses and we fully support the collective and national effort to defeat this virus.
Circumstances have changed but our commitment to supporting the community remains as strong as ever. Shepherd Neame has been at the heart of the community for over 300 years and our fantastic employees and licensees will continue to support the community in any way they can.
During this period of closure, we will relentlessly continue to look for ways that we can evolve the nature of our support. As an immediate action:
- Our teams will be sending food from all our managed sites that are temporarily closed to local food banks and to support the homeless
- We are offering our hotel accommodation to the NHS to be repurposed as hospital accommodation
- We are looking at ways to enhance and evolve our online communication to our database of over 200,000 customers to ensure we encourage people to stay connected
- The brewery remains operational and producing beer, which will still be available through retail channels
Within our tenanted estate, many of our licensees have already adapted their offer to fulfil a different support role and provide a much needed lifeline to their local communities. For example, many are already providing a takeaway offer and setting up local Whats App groups to support those who are self-isolating. We encourage our licensees to continue to support the national effort to combat Covid-19 in the best way that they can within their local community.
Chief Executive Jonathan Neame said: “At this stage it is impossible to know how long this unprecedented situation will last but we are working around the clock to be able to offer every support possible to our employees, licensees and our communities.
“We intend to protect as many jobs as we can and support our people through this national challenge. We will be investigating the recent Government proposals and will update our teams as soon as possible.
“I would like to take this opportunity personally to thank all our customers and team members for their continued support and loyalty, and hope that they and their families stay safe at this time. We look forward to serving you again as soon as we are able to.”