The backbone of our business is to Make Life Peachy, for our team, suppliers and guests. The last few weeks have been challenging, unusual and a little odd. Our top priority has always been to ensure our team are looked after during this time and following the support released from the Government, we have been able to confirm that every single person working for us will continue to be employed.
Despite having to close our pubs in March, we have continued to pay every team member in full for the first three weeks of the current pay period, from Monday 16th March to Sunday 5th April 2020. From Monday 6th April, everyone will be placed on furlough and receive 80% of their wages, whether they are salaried or hourly paid. We will maintain a skeleton team to support the business during the closure, and our directors have agreed not to draw a salary until the pubs reopen.
Additionally, we have agreed to top up the monthly pay of anyone whose salary is more than the maximum government grant of £2,500 a month, so everyone gets the 80%. We will also pay both individual pension contributions and those from Peach into every team member’s pension pot.
There’s still huge concern for our industry, we’ve been doing everything we can to negotiate with our banks, suppliers and landlords so that we can keep the team together and secure the future of the business. It’s a very challenging time with no income, but with Government and bank support, and salary sacrifices, we have been able to continue to top up wages.
We’re planning to make it through this period of closure with the goal of keeping the whole business and team intact, ready to launch with typical Peachy enthusiasm when we are allowed to open our doors again. We know our guests are going to be desperate for great Peachy hospitality and the good stuff when they come back and we need our team to be ready and able to give guests what they want. We don’t want to lose anyone through this process and remain committed to being a really great place to work, learn and grow. Staying true to our values has never been more important than now.
We’ve continued to support our teams in other ways, keeping everyone together while they are physically apart and offering practical as well as financial help while people are at home and unable to do their normal work.
It’s hard for all of us, particularly caterers, to do nothing, and being at home all the time is difficult if you’re used to working in a busy pub every day. It’s also more expensive – gas and electricity bills go up and there’s no team food. We have set up The Peach Hardship Fund, a pot of money to help any of our team in need. As well as Peach money, we have had some generous donations from our guests, which has been really fantastic and will help support those in most financial need.
We’ve seen a great sense of community spirit developing across the business too. The Star & Garter have been supplying local charities with ready meals and teaming up with Aubrey Allen, one of our longest-standing suppliers to help those in need. other team members have been working in their own communities and supporting the NHS too. We’ve been keeping in touch with regular Zoom calls, sharing news and recipes from our chefs on Facebook and throwing house parties on Facebook live. We’re going to get through this together, and we can’t wait to get back into the pubs.