17 March 2020
Today we have made the most difficult decisions we have ever made or that we ever hope to make in future.
As of tomorrow we will temporarily close all of the Hawksmoor restaurants – I feel that that is clearly what the government is advising us to do even if they are not mandating it. It is clearly in the interest of public health to do so and nothing is more important than that, in particular our responsibilities to the elderly and the vulnerable.
I have also had to end the employment of some of the wonderful people who work at Hawksmoor. We have tried to treat those people as fairly as possible, paying full notice and we are trying to give them every guidance on how they can get extra support during these difficult times. We have also told them that what has happened today doesn’t prevent them in any way from being part of the company again in the future and we will stay in touch with them to offer any support and information we can.
This enables us to make sure that Hawksmoor survives – not because of money or profit, but in order that the thing that we have all spent much of our professional lives building can go back to being a place where we can look after as many staff and customers as possible for years to come.
We have made these difficult decisions in order to do what we can to protect the jobs of the hundreds of people we still employ during what may be a prolonged period of closure.
This is of course tragic, and incredibly difficult for everyone. However, Hawksmoor will survive and we will quickly turn our attention to how we get through this period and what we can do to lend our strength to others who may need it. We hope that the government step in as promised to provide the safety net that so many people desperately need.
To our regular customers – we won’t be providing delivery or click and collect. We will be focussing on our staff and whether we can help more people. We also believe other restaurant businesses will need your custom more. Many of you have made the kind offer or gesture to buy vouchers. While we’re thrilled by the support and that option is still available on our shop, we would recommend giving that support to smaller businesses who need it more.
To anyone else reading this, please do not judge any restaurateurs making different decisions and keeping their restaurants open, or people choosing to visit them. If they are open and going to restaurants it’s because the government has effectively said that that is OK, albeit in smaller numbers. They have their situation and we have ours.
Thank you to the many people who have been in touch to check how we are and to wish us all the best. Stay safe and healthy, look after yourselves and your loved ones and thank you very much for all your loyalty and enthusiasm over the years. We can’t wait to raise a glass with you in one of our restaurants when this is all over.
Will + Huw
Hawksmoor - “other restaurant businesses will need your custom more”
One of many temporary closure announcements released yesterday, Hawksmoor co-founders Will Beckett and Huw Gott wrote an open letter to their customers. The pair revealed the brand would commence a temporary closure, without delivery or click and collect, in order to focus on their staff and “whether we can help more people,” and in a move of industry solidarity have urged customers to support “smaller businesses who need it more.”