Top restaurants including Scott’s, Le Caprice and J Sheekey close their doors until further notice due to coronavirus
- Restaurants have suffered falls in customer numbers as pandemic has spread
- High Street giants Zizzi and ASK Italian have today closed their doors
- Caprice Restaurants, who own popular London eateries, have followed suit
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Top restaurants including Scott’s, Le Caprice and J Sheekey have closed their doors until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The hospitality industry has suffered huge falls in customer numbers as the pandemic has swept through Europe, causing the mass closures of pubs, restaurants and cafes.
High Street giants Zizzi and ASK Italian temporarily closed their doors today, and now Caprice Restaurants – who own some of London’s most popular eateries – have followed suit.
Caprice Restaurants, owner of the popular Scott’s, have announced they are closing their doors due to the outbreak
An email from the group, who operate Balthazar, Scott’s, Le Caprice and J Sheekey among others said: ‘It is with a heavy heart we inform you that due to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the advice from our Government and the World Health Organisation, we are left with no option but to close our restaurants as of today, Thursday 19th March, until further notice.
‘This extraordinary measure has been taken in the interest of both employee and guest safety, which are of utmost importance to us.
‘During this time we will continue to communicate via social media, our websites and our newsletters.
‘We look forward to reopening, when we are able, and to welcoming you back to our restaurants.’
J Sheekey, another popular eatery will also be shutting up shop after other High Street restaurants announced they were also closing today
‘May we take this opportunity to thank you for the fantastic support and loyalty you have shown to us during this unprecedented time.’
It comes after the Prime Minister once again implored members of the public to follow official government guidance not to visit pubs, clubs and restaurants and avoid ‘non-essential’ contact.
‘It is vital that people follow that advice and there is huge evidence that they are,’ Mr Johnson said.
‘But (there is) some evidence that in some parts of the capital it is very patchy and some areas where perhaps people aren’t following it in quite the way we need them to. We may have to consider going further.’
Meanwhile, hospitality giant Whitbread is also set to temporarily close around 400 restaurant sites from Friday night in response to the virus.
Pictured: Le Caprice. An email from the restaurant group said they are closing the group’s restaurants ‘with a heavy heart’
The move will affect its chains such as Brewers Fayre, Beefeater and Bar + Block.
A host of other smaller restaurant groups have also revealed closures, with Vietnamese brand Pho to focus on home delivery and Burger chain Byron is moving to delivery only.
Brasserie Blanc, along with Prezzo are shut, while Sushi restaurant chain Yo! will leave only 16 restaurants open and Itsu have moved to takeaway-only.
Steve Holmes, chief executive officer of Azzurri, who own Zizzi and Ask Italian, among other restaurants, said the decision was made in light of the Government’s recommendation to avoid public meetings and with ‘deepest regret’.
He said: ‘For many of our people, this will mean not working until we can safely reopen our sites and this has been the hardest part of our decision.’
Pictured: Balthazar. Caprice Restaurants said they are looking forward to reopening and welcoming customers back to eat
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