The pandemic has brought the hospitality industry to its knees – yet community favourites in Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and surrounding Essex villages continue to serve customers with a smile.

Last year we had the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme to get people returning to pubs and restaurants following lockdown.

After another crippling lockdown in 2021, the hospitality sector once again needs your help.

Despite the 'Freedom Day' easing of restrictions on July 19, many businesses are still seriously impacted by the aftermath of COVID-19.

While pubs, restaurants and cafes are no longer hampered by table-only service and social distancing restrictions indoors, the food and drinks industry is still struggling.

The 'pingdemic', staff shortages due to periods of self-isolation, and the reluctance of people to go back out for a meal have all contributed to a significant loss of revenue.

To help the industry bounce back from the pandemic, an action day to celebrate the places we love to eat out at will take place next month.

When is National Hospitality Day?

National Hospitality Day is a nationwide celebration of our brilliant and resilient restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars, and the suppliers that support them.

Places at the heart of the community such as The Plough in Great Chesterford and Feast 21 in Dunmow.

Saffron Walden Reporter: The beer garden at The Plough, Great Chesterford.The beer garden at The Plough, Great Chesterford. (Image: Andra Maciuca)

The campaign will support the food and drinks sector in the lead up to a huge party on Saturday, September 18, 2021.

This day is designed to get people across the country supporting our great pubs, restaurants, hotels, cafes and eateries that we know have suffered terribly – and continue to do so – due to the pandemic.

Until last March, we took our favourite destinations for granted. Now, our restaurants, hotels and pubs are back – but they need the nation’s support if they are to survive and thrive.

National Hospitality Day is a chance for people to say “welcome back – we’ve missed you” by voting with their feet.

It will be a collective shout-out for the places we’ve all missed – and a financial shot in the arm for a sector that’s been hit hardest by coronavirus.

On September 18, people are encouraged to visit their local hospitality venues to show their support for the stricken industry – and to help businesses that have been thrown to their knees by COVID-19.

Whether it be a pint with some friends in Saffron Walden or a meal in one of our great country pubs or independent restaurants – on September 18 people are encouraged to visit their local hospitality venues.

Organisers are asking the nation to 'go out to help out!'


Where will you be visiting on National Hospitality Day? Let us know your Essex favourites in the survey below:


The charities involved and how to donate

All monies generated by National Hospitality Day will be divided between four participating charities: the Drinks Trust, Hospitality Action, the Licensed Trade Charity, and Springboard.

Together, they other lifelines to the people and businesses behind UK hospitality.

Hospitality Action was established in 1837 and has since offered vital assistance to all who work, or have worked, within the sector in the UK.

The charity is there for chefs, waiters, housekeepers and managers, as well as concierges, receptionists and kitchen porters. It's also there for every sommelier, bartender, catering assistant and cook across the UK.

Whether you work in hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars or cafés, schools, hospitals or event venues, Hospitality Action is there to give you the help, advice and support you need whenever times get tough.

Visit for more about National Hospitality Day 2021, and to donate.

By supporting your favourite local place on National Hospitality Day you will be helping a struggling business back on its feet.

You will also be supporting a coalition of the main industry charities who support those hardest hit by the events of the last 18 months.