Hospitality industry bounces back

Hospitality industry bounces back

21st September 2021

As the hospitality industry starts to recover from the biggest setback it has ever known, with sales plummeting 64% between April 2020 and March 2021 and 12,000 licensed premises shut down, we talk to Masterlord Office Village tenant Red Oak Taverns about safeguarding the future of their 200 pubs.

Staff shortages, accrued debt and rising costs have all affected pubs reopening. Takeaway food and serving at tables outside were small steps as restrictions were relaxed.  Pubs serving food had an edge, as customers want to return, meeting family and friends for a meal out.  It’s the new normal.

The government’s support with hospitality grants, VAT rate relief and re-opening grants, together with stock credits by leading suppliers, all helped to get pubs and restaurants open again. 

The in-house finance department for Red Oak Taverns has been Ipswich based since 2018, with a team of seven led by head of finance Leigh Meadows. The company was co-founded by Aaron Brown and Mark Grunnell in 2011. 


‘Our pubs are built around the community, so people use them not only for eating and drinking but sometimes as a workspace, especially if they’re working from home.  All our pubs reopened successfully, with outside meals this May and now full service indoors. The commitment and hard work of our tenants, twinned with government and tailored support from ourselves has paid off. We’ve managed the business flexibly, keeping our tenants operating to serve their customers.  It’s a partnership. That’s the secret of our success.

Masterlord offers us ideal office space that we can tailor to our needs, with good comms, parking and easy access.  Working remotely was a success during lockdown, and we managed to solve problems just as swiftly. As team members return to the office, the buzz is coming back.’

Leigh Meadows, head of finance, Red Oak Taverns

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