Pubs and restaurants across London are rushing to sell off food and drink before Thursday’s National Lockdown renders them fit only for the bin.
“Many pubs, restaurants, cafes and food outlets are not allowed to trade during lockdown, and they have lots of food and drink in stock that may well end up in landfill if they aren’t sold before Wednesday night”, explains Charlotte Green from London waste company TradeWaste.co.uk.
Some of the larger chain pubs have been selling pints of beer for 99p in an effort to clear out stocks and avoid huge waste.
Wetherspoons announced on Monday, “any ales not sold between now and lockdown will have to be thrown away, so it’s better that customers can enjoy it at a great price while the pubs remain open”.
Mitchells & Butlers, one of the largest operators reported that the first lockdown cost it £11m in waste caused by extra beer in pubs ready for St Patrick’s day which of course did not happen.
“The amount of potential waste caused by a sudden lockdown is staggering and could be as high as 1,000,000 pints in London alone – however it is thought that because of the length of notice, and the deals on offer the wastage could be much less, which would be great news”, Green adds.
The big problem facing London pubs and restaurants now is that a third of their revenue is generated during the Halloween to New Year rush, a massively important time for cashflow before heading into the dead seasons of January and February.
The potential for huge food and drink waste is set to be even worse than it might have been due to the Governments rules on not allowing pubs to sell takeaway drinks.
“Everything needs to go before Thursday – so get down to your local London pub and buy a pint, or order some food from your local restaurant, everything you buy this week helps them, and helps save it going down the drain or to landfill”, concludes Charlotte Green from TradeWaste.co.uk