The Post reported yesterday how Andy Mac of Ships and Giggles on Fylde Road was giving away free chicken and chips, after new Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions meant pubs in Lancashire can now only stay open if serving substantial meals.
But Preston Council chiefs have said the guidance is clear - customers have to purchase a substantial meal with an accompanying drink - and stressed it says on their website that ‘premises cannot provide free food to accompany alcohol that has been purchased.’
Publican Andy has now vowed to charge a penny for his food in an attempt to keep customers coming in while staying on the right side of the rules.
He said: “I am absolutely gutted.
“ For the first time in seven months, I finally felt happy that I was doing something really good for everyone.
“I have looked tirelessly this morning to see if these extra rules, on top of the new existing rules are specific to Preston, and in a sense specific to me.
“I now, once again have to work with brand new rules and regulations but unlike the government, these unique rules seem to be for Preston and they come into action without giving us preparation time.”
Coun Peter Moss, deputy leader and cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “We understand and are mindful that the changes to the hospitality industry as part of the Tier 3 restrictions are challenging for many businesses.
“While we can appreciate the difficulty this is causing and innovative solutions are being developed, we all have to work within the regulations set by Government.
“According to the current guidelines, a reasonable amount of alcohol may be purchased to accompany a meal – one that may be expected to be served at a table, as a main meal.
“The restrictions prevent excessive amounts of alcohol to be purchased and consumed with that meal, or long after the food has been eaten.“We would much rather support and work with
businesses but, where necessary, we will not hesitate to take a robust approach.”
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