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Since coronavirus hit, our Leisure and Hospitality legal teams have been unexpectedly busy.  It hit at a time when the licensing team had plenty of work in the pipeline, as well as a number of contested hearings and reviews coming up.  However, what we weren’t expecting to see was as many new instructions.  Our hospitality team have also had ongoing deals to complete, including a multi-use site acquisition, a portfolio of restaurants, sales, purchases and leases.

For some, it’s business as usual.  For others, it’s time to batten down the hatches.  We have had lots of calls from clients with ‘what if’ scenarios and some interesting ideas and innovations.  What we are seeing is the start of a plan.  Clients are considering how they are going to trade coming out of lockdown…whenever that might happen.

Some recent enquiries to the Leisure and Hospitality team include:

  • New application and new leases on restaurants/cafes – Now is a good time to get favourable terms out of a landlord on food based businesses
  • Sale/Purchase of premises and site acquisitions
  • Variation to existing food business for takeaway food and alcohol, as well as delivery
  • Adding an outside area, to be licensed.  Some have just added off sales and some have licensed the area
  • Varying conditions and adding licensable activities
  • Changes to plans/layout and licensing areas previously not covered
  • A good time to carry out that refurb/sparkle…some operators are doing the work themselves as they have the time, but needing permission and to vary the licence.

There is obviously lots of uncertainty at the moment, but it’s still worth taking a step back and speculating on how you might trade when we emerge into a post lockdown world.  As always our Leisure and Hospitality team are here to help and advise.

Email to get in touch or call 0191 281 6151.  It is always good to catch up!



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