London-based restaurant group Kricket will be able to maintain full operations on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic because of Government support measures, co-founder Rik Campbell has told MCA.

The three-strong Indian concept stopped all operations on Sunday (22 March) to comply with lockdown instructions, but has said that the Jobs Retention Scheme and Government grant package has meant that “on the other side of this, we’ll be able to keep doing what we do best.”

“We won’t be changing anything. We’ll come out stronger, leaner and wiser,” he said.

Because Kricket qualifies for the Government ‘small grant’ funding of £25,000 (for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000), and the full closure means its staff can access the 80% salary subsidy, the business has been able to retain 95% of its staff.

“We’re going to need them when we re-open,” he said, “I think a lot of people are going to want to get back out and be in restaurants and bars so I think there will be a great vibe.”

“Kricket is one of those brands that people have been loyal to since we were in a shipping container and generally stay close to. I’m confident that we will get up and running pretty quickly.”

For the time being, Campbell said his main priority was to pay his staff for March and pay his suppliers “in that order. Then it’s a case of cashflow planning.”

As the business waits to hear when it can access the grant money, it is promoting a loyalty voucher – offering consumers 20% of goodwill if they buy a £250 voucher – and is in discussions with the bank for temporary support.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the Government and it looks like we’re going to get support from the bank, we just need the right support from the landlords,” Campbell said.

“I hope that when we get close to reopening, we can have a sensible conversation with the landlords and sort out a support package until we’re back up to business as usual.”

“But I really don’t think it’s going to take months to get back to full business when we open our doors again. I hope not anyway!”