Chesterfield’s hospitality sector optimistic for future
Chesterfield businessman and owner of Casa Hotel and Peak Edge Hotel, Steve Perez has praised the ‘team spirit’ of local businesses in the hospitality sector who, he says, “have shared ideas and good practice to ensure the local economy re-opens safely and successfully.”
Despite Covid-19 restrictions, businesses in Chesterfield’s hospitality sector are feeling positive following their re-opening on Saturday 4 July. The optimism has been further boosted by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s help for the hospitality industry which was unveiled in his summer statement.
Mr Perez commented: “The Covid-19 pandemic will continue to have an impact on the industry for the foreseeable future and whilst businesses have worked extremely hard to adapt their business models. It is a tough market and we are extremely grateful for the government initiatives including business rate reductions, eating out voucher scheme and VAT reduction.”
Destination Chesterfield sprang into action following the Chancellor’s announcement and has produced a webpage with details of businesses in and around Chesterfield that are taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. The website can be found at www.chesterfield.co.uk/summer/eat-out-to-help-out-in-chesterfield
One of the businesses to sign up to the scheme, includes H & F Vintage Tearooms based on New Beetwell Street. Sharon Hilton, owner and Director of H&F Vintage Tearooms which re-opened on Monday 6 July said: “I am feeling optimistic about the future. Each day since opening there has been a steady increase in business. Customers and staff have adapted well to the small changes we’ve put in place.”
Chris Mapp, owner of The Tickled Trout shared Sharon’s optimism saying: “We’ve been busier than expected since re-opening. The safety measures we have put in place have ensured that customers feel safe and comfortable and they are confident in dining with us.”
Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager, added: “Despite the hospitality sector’s nervousness ahead of re-opening, it is great to see that people are returning to their favourite pubs, restaurants and cafes.”
Many businesses have had to reduce the seating capacity to account for social distancing, however they have made use of outdoor space which has proved popular given the recent good weather. The Tickled Trout has added a pop-up pub in the car park of the restaurant where customers can enjoy a drink.
Mr Perez added: “We are extremely grateful to have no shortage of space at both properties, indoor and outdoor. The beautiful weather has also allowed us to take advantage of our gardens, terraces and at Peak Edge Hotel the Airstream bar and live music in the bandstand, allowing a great atmosphere whilst practising social distancing.”
Chris Mapp, owner of The Tickled Trout, however, has urged the general public to ensure they cancel bookings if they are unable to attend. “The hospitality industry is already operating at reduced capacity, so when a booking is a no-show this is devastating to the business. There is less opportunity for walk-ins right now, so every no-show leaves us with an empty table. Please, please ensure you show up when you have made a booking or cancel it if you are unable to attend.”
Already Chesterfield is seeing signs of the predicated staycation boom. “We have had a massive increase in bookings for our holiday cottages. They are now almost fully booked until September,” added Chris.”
Steve Perez added: “All the signs are positive for a staycation boom in the Peak District this summer. Tourism is the backbone of our local economy and it is extremely important we support each other and share best practice.”
Dom Stevens added: “The Chancellor’s support for the sector is particularly welcome at this time however, we must all ensure we continue to support hospitality businesses beyond the eat out to help out scheme.”
“With the hospitality sector now fully re-open, the town now has a real opportunity to capitalise on the staycation boom and drive forward its economic recovery.”
Councillor Kate Sarvent, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy added: “The re-opening of these businesses is vital for our local economy and will help ensure the longevity of the many brilliant establishments in our borough.”
Although the hospitality sector has re-opened its doors a number of businesses are continuing to operate takeaway and delivery services that were put in place during lockdown.
Chris Radford, owner of Brampton Brewery explained: “A lot of our older clientele are still very nervous about going back into pubs so for that reason we’re maintaining our free home delivery service of bottled beers.”
Details of businesses offering takeaway and delivery can be found at https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/supportinglocal
If you are a local food businesses that is participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and would like to be featured on the Chesterfield.co.uk website, please email email@example.com