Hotel-pub owner speaks of hardships caused by Covid-19
PUBLISHED: 09:31 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:31 09 July 2020
A local business owner has spoken out about the difficulties his hotel and pub have been facing since the lockdown, which are still being felt since businesses reopened as per government guidelines.
Harry Kodagoda, owner of The Cricketers Arms, Rickling Green said he opened both his hotel and his pub and restaurant part of the business on July 4, with several measures in place.
Mr Kodagoda said: “We have had to put in a lot of measures to make sure we have social distancing in place.”
He added: “We had to carry out a risk assessment for the food and beverage operation, as well as the hotel rooms and different measures to make sure we don’t have cross-contamination from guests.”
Measures include having had to restrict the number of people allowed both inside and outside the business, to ensure social distancing between the tables throughout the building.
The Cricketers Arms also have a one-way system in operation, as well as hand sanitiser stations, markings and posters.
“We have had to put loads of posters about the rules to make sure people know and keep everyone safe,” Mr Kodagoda.
“Generally it’s been good. The general compliance from staff and guests has been very positive. Everyone understands we are all in it together and we have to put these measures in place for everyone’s safety.”
But he admits the hotel lost a lot of bookings not just during the lockdown, but also at present.
He said the main reasons for the losses are other businesses being shut, and some cutting down on staff costs.
“We have a wedding venue and all those were cancelled so our fully booked hotel most weekends has no bookings at all, it really does affect you.
“We have got people that work away from home but I think now a lot of companies are trying to cut a lot of that [business stays].”
Mr Kodagoda said he and his staff are trying to create a good experience for customers, but admitted it is very difficult from a business perspective because of all the restrictions they must adhere to.
He said: “Come and support your local, whether it’s us or anybody else. This is a really trying time for everybody.”
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