This year has been particularly difficult for the hospitality industry and it’s totally understandable that business owners will want to open over the festive period to try to recoup some of the money they’ve lost. Christmas and New Year are busy times for the industry and hopefully many of our amazing hospitality businesses will do well and continue to survive.
That said, there are some hospitality bosses who have already decided to sacrifice the opportunity of earning much needed money and instead let their staff have time off with their families. In this heart warming Christmas feature we aim to highlight some of the businesses that will doing this and hearing their reasons for doing so….
This is the first Christmas for Bootleggers, a family run cafe and bakery situated on Seabank Road in New Brighton. Owners Cory and Germaine Isham have been hit hard opening just before the first lockdown so it’s very tempting for them to open over the festive season. Instead they are open 10am — 3pm on Christmas Eve then closed until 6th January!
Owner Germaine told us: “It’s been a really busy first year for us, despite the lockdowns, and we haven’t had enough family time. Our staff have been amazing too and our Head Chef, Graeme, hasn’t had a Christmas off in years. We thought it would be right to all enjoy a well deserved break after a tough year, spend time with our families and come back stronger in 2021.”
Bootleggers / 237 Seabank Road, New Brighton, CH45 1HE / 0151 792 6885
Check out Bootleggers on FACEBOOK!
Heritage restaurant and bar, situated on Castle Street in Liverpool, was taken over by Terry and Louise in October. After investing lots of money on a refurb, a new menu and more, then having to endure a lockdown, you’d think they’d want to cash in on the festive season. Instead, they are closing on Christmas Day and Boxing Day — and probably New Years Eve night and New Years Day too.
General Manager Terry Edwards told us: “As a Head Chef, I’ve been working long hours for the last 10 Christmas Days and my partner Louise likes to go to church at Christmas, so we really value how much Christmas means to people. When we took over, the first thing the staff asked us was what’s happening over the festive period so we decided to get off to a good start with them and do what’s best for everyone. Of course we need to recoup the money we’ve invested but we all work hard enough — let’s have Christmas off.”
Heritage / 40 Castle Street, Liverpool, L2 7LA / 0151 236 8554
Check out Heritage on FACEBOOK!
West Kirby’s quality family run Indian restaurant, Karma, have a policy of allowing their staff to have both Christmas Day and Boxing Day off and have done so for 18 years. Like most businesses, they’ve been hit hard this year but they’ve stuck with their ethos of not ‘cashing in’ on Christmas and charging much more for the same food.
Babul Miah told us: “We are a family run business and really value our hard working staff and their time with their families, plus having Christmas and Boxing Day off also means our family doesn’t argue about shift patterns haha! We opened one Boxing Day previously and made lots of money and this year we’ve already had enquiries for Christmas and Boxing Day, but we don’t think it’s right to cash in and charge up to three times more for the same food. It just doesn’t sit right with us”
Karma / 9 Grange Road, West Kirby, Wirral CH48 4DY / 0151 625 5999
Check out Karma on FACEBOOK!
Situated on West Kirby promenade, Tanskey’s bistro usually opens on Boxing Day and does very well from all the passing trade from people who walk along the promenade. Instead, they have made the decision to close on Christmas Day and Boxing Day so that their staff can have some more time off with their families.
Owner Hannah Cleator said: “We’ve chosen to do this as we understand people can spend time with their loved ones in each other’s houses over Christmas and although Boxing Day is usually booming with all the passing trade, we’ve decided to let our staff have both days off. It’s been a tough year for everyone and family is so important. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year for us all.”
Tanskey’s / 105 South Parade, West Kirby, CH48 0QG / 0151 625 3882
Check out Tanskey’s on FACEBOOK!
The Pen Factory
The Pen Factory’s owners, including Paddy Byrne, have closed from Christmas Eve until the new year for the past 5 years, giving their staff a decent stretch off, as they value family time more than making money. This bold move has no doubt cost the Hope Street restaurant and bar thousands of pounds over the years, but their ethos and the way they treat their staff has benefitted the business in other ways.
General Manager Sam Harrison said: “The Pen Factory is a great place to work and Paddy and the management really look after the staff — this results in long tenures, happy staff members and a relaxed atmosphere and this is felt by the customers. The ethos of the management is about work to live, not live to work, and always giving us a decent stretch off over Christmas is much appreciated. It’s a great place to be.”
13 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ / 0151 709 7887
Check out The Pen Factory on FACEBOOK!
The Wheatsheaf (Ness)
The Wheatsheaf in Ness is owned by Ben and Claire, who also own Salty’s in Parkgate and Burton Manor cafe. They have a great reputation for treating their staff really well and it’s their company policy to give all their staff time off over the festive season. They also throw their staff a huge Christmas party (not this year unfortunately) and give them 20% off across all their venues. This year they’ll be closing on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and probably New Year’s Day.
Head Chef Matthew Jones said: “Ever since coming to work here, I’ve felt welcome and at home. The owners are really genuine and down to earth people and they take care of their staff. It’s rare to come across employers who actively promote family values over making money and giving us time off over Christmas is a big statement and means a lot. I have two young children so not being at work all day on Christmas Day is amazing.”
The Wheatsheaf / Neston Road, Ness, CH64 4AP / 0151 336 6336
Check out The Wheatsheaf on FACEBOOK!
The festive season is a vital time for the hospitality industry and we must show much respect to the staff who work during this period. As a business owner it’s only natural to open during the busiest time of year, especially following the hardship of 2020, but let’s raise a glass to the ones who are giving their staff time off — well done guys, a really nice gesture!