A NORTHWICH pub owner has said not knowing what the Government will do next over any potential new restrictions is hurting the hospitality business.

Chris Mundie, who operates The Salty Dog in the town centre, said most people have been able to adapt to changes over the last couple of years, but called for clarity.

He said: “Like with any business, it’s about being able to plan.

“We’ve been through enough in the last couple of years to know what we have to do and we just want to be able to plan for that, or at least have an idea for when something might happen.

“To say ‘we reserve the right’ to put in measures that are so far undisclosed is entirely ambiguous.

“It wouldn’t fly in any business world.

“Conservatives have traditionally been a party of business people and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask for something cohesive or reasonably concrete.

“With us, stocking is a big issue, because what you’ve got to take into account is that Monday and Tuesday next week are bank holidays and New Year’s Eve is on the Friday.

“So you’ve got Wednesday and Thursday to really be able to sort something out.

“It’s exactly the same for breweries and suppliers.

“The smaller breweries are knackered because they will have brewed specifically to be busy.

“That would mean them going into January, which is always one of the worst months for hospitality anyway, with excess stock.”

While the imposition of further restrictions has been put on hold in England, one of the ideas rumoured was for pubs and restaurants to only serve food and drink outdoors.

“It’s a non-starter, I don’t even know what the reasons are for it anymore," Chris added.

“Opinions are obviously a lot more divided than they were at the start.

“People are a lot less willing to take the government seriously based on a lot of the things that have come out over the last couple of weeks.

“Asking people in hospitality, a lot of whom are on low wages, to police these regulations, it’s just ridiculous.

“I’m not asking one of the kids who works for me to get into an argument over regulations that they don’t understand themselves."

With a host of restrictions and lockdowns coming and going since the pandemic began, all businesses have had to adapt, including customers.

"Our customers have been brilliant and I think anywhere with regulars will be the same," Chris said.

“They understand whatever it is you’ve got to do, but it’s the not knowing.

“We’ve got people coming into our place at the moment asking if they have to wear a mask.

“Our outlet in Crewe is a market so it’s a mixture of retail and hospitality.

“So people are legally expected to wear a mask until 6pm, when it becomes hospitality only, and all of sudden it’s safe not to wear one.

“There just isn’t any consistency to anything that’s happened.”