Deliveroo warns new restrictions could have “catastrophic impact” on UK high streets

Industry

Deliveroo has warned that new UK restrictions could have a “catastrophic impact” on high streets only just starting to recover from the impact of lockdown.

Deliveroo’s founder and chief executive Will Shu warned that new government restrictions imposed from today, which prevent restaurants from remaining open past 10pm, “pose a great threat to the recovery of the sector”.

Shu, along with other major restaurant and food retail partners, has penned a letter to chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak urging him to “provide much-needed relief for the industry” and prevent yet more businesses from going under.

The signatories state that while they recognise steps need to be taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, financial measures need to be put in place to support the businesses and employees struggling to find its feet after the UK’s initial lockdown period.

They have put forward a range of suggested measurers to help negate the impact of further restrictions, including “targeted support packages” for restaurant staff who will see their hours cut by the new curfew.

READ MORE: M&S scraps partnership with Deliveroo as Ocado tie-up sends shares rallying

Furthermore, they suggest the government should provide clarity that the government’s furlough scheme will extend past October 31 for the hospitality sector and extend VAT reductions for at least another six months past the current end date of January 12.

In May Deliveroo announced that it was set to slash over 350 jobs and furlough dozens more due to the “extraordinary global health crisis” impacting “nearly all businesses”.

Since then it has dramatically shifted its business away from the struggling restaurant sector towards online grocery, signing a raft of partnerships with big name brands including Aldi, Co-op, Morrisons, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

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