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Company that took over every Brains pub in Wales struggling to find workers

14 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

A pub group that took over every Brains pub in Wales has called for a relaxation of visa restrictions for hospitality staff.

The chief executive of Marston’s, which took over operations at 156 pubs previously run by the Welsh brewer Brains in December of last year, said that the sector was now facing severe labour shortages.

Almost one in ten of its 187 pubs were understaffed and an easing of visa rules for kitchen staff in particular “would be very welcome”, Andrew Andrea said.

The industry has been hit by the departure of European workers after Brexit, and staff finding new work while hospitality was closed during the pandemic.

In August, Marston’s had to close 30 pubs and limit trading at 50 others. Across the UK, 1,000 hospitality sites have closed since July because of supply chain and staffing challenges, according to the industry data tracker CGA.

The pubs the company took over in Wales will continue to operate under the Brains brand and will still sell the Welsh brewer’s beer.

That sale was in itself due to the pandemic putting huge pressure on hospitality in Wales, after the Welsh Government announced new rules on not selling alcohol and closing at 6pm at the height of the winter Covid surge.

In a statement made at the time, the companies said the deal was needed “to address Brains’ immediate funding requirements”.

“This agreement marks the formation of a lasting strategic relationship with Marston’s which secures the future of Brains’ pubs and 1,300 of our employees within them,” said chairman John Rhys.

“We know and trust Marston’s to be excellent custodians of our pubs and, whilst this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we are confident that both our pubs – and our pubs teams – will thrive under their stewardship.

“Furthermore, this transaction enables Brains to recapitalise its balance sheet and continue its long heritage as an independent entity, preserving this great Welsh business for generations to come.”

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Gareth
Gareth
8 days ago

Perhaps Brexit voters can fill the void, now that they have got rid of these “foreign workers who were taking their jobs “.

David Harking
David Harking
8 days ago

Robots can fill the void. And they can be Welsh speaking too!

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 days ago
Reply to  David Harking

It would still mean those robots are more qualified than you.

Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
8 days ago

So is this why Marston’s now selling 93 of the Brains pubs ?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 days ago

Honestly, who would want to work serving a bunch of drunks while on minimum wage during a pandemic?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
8 days ago

The former CEO of Marston’s told his staff after the referendum that Brexit would not affect Marston’s in any way.
He left a fortnight ago.

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