Tokyo Industries CEO Aaron Mellor has dismissed Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan for leaving the night-time sector with little choice but to hibernate.

Mellor told MCA that despite rigorous efforts to pivot to a more covid-secure pub-style operating model, Sunak’s economic package and the accompanying restrictions had left his 45-strong UK business unviable.

Accusing the ministers of being out of touch, he said the night-time sector’s efforts had been “totally ignored”, suggesting their last visit to a nightclub would have been a “2am slow dance in the 90s”.

He urged the government to adopt Barcelona’s lock-in model, which avoided dispersal issues seen over the weekend at 10pm following the introduction of the curfew.

Mellor told MCA: “We are a very viable business if allowed to open - we had adapted our model to pivot to a ‘night pubbing’ model - seated booked in guests, in app ordering, with low level background. It was safe and working but last week’s 10pm closure order creates more issues than it fixes.”

Citing Barcelona’s ‘lock in’ model, he described how last entry to all bars in the Spanish city is at 11pm, but they are allowed to stay open until 2am-3am.

He said: “This removes the queuing / bar hopping issues, but without creating the dispersal carnage we saw over the weekend with swamped transport, 10x Uber surge pricing and 100 person queues outside Tesco buying alcohol for unregulated street drinking or house parties. This lock-in model makes sense at least as a short term solution.”

He said without sector specific support, he saw no option but to hibernate the business.

He added: “The Government routinely forgets that Britain’s last great global export is music. We export more music to the world than any other country - we are actually really good at it. If we lose clubs and live music venues like ours, how else do we find the next Adele or Ed Sheeran?”