Deliveroo CEO and founder Will Shu, alongside major UK restaurant partners including Burger King and Itsu, have written to the prime minister to warn of the severe impact the upcoming end to the moratorium on commercial evictions could have on the industry. The signatories say they recognise the critical role the moratorium on commercial evictions, alongside other government support measures, have played in allowing restaurants to get back on their feet and reopen. However, with the moratorium due to end on 30th September, the letter warns that “failure to extend and/or modify [it] could severely hamper the restaurant sector’s recovery and lead to many permanent restaurant closures”.
Without further support from the government, the letter argues, restaurants could face demands from landlords for immediate rent payments accrued over the past few months, or risk eviction proceedings if they fail to pay. For the vast majority of restaurants this is an unmanageable challenge, and many may be forced to close their doors. To underline this, the letter states: “Given the far reaching challenges facing the sector, it is unlikely that new ventures will open to replace the vacancies left by the closure of many restaurants across the country, meaning that resulting in job losses will be difficult to replace.”
Shu said: “The restaurant sector has worked so hard to get back on its feet over recent months. This all risks being undone unless further action is taken on rents. We urge the government to consider these proposals, which will help protect the sector’s tentative recovery and ensure that our amazing restaurants can have a bright future.”