Let’s Beat Covid-19: “We are family” says pub group CEO

Peter Borg-Neal, CEO Oakman Inns landscape

Independent pub group, Oakman Inns, which owns three pubs in Oxfordshire (Blue Boar in Witney, Crown & Thistle in Abingdon and Old Post Office in Wallingford), has cautiously welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s pledge yesterday to ‘to do whatever it takes’ to keep businesses and people affected by coronavirus solvent.

Peter Borg-Neal, CEO, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement to make available a £330 billion package of economic measures is certainly a good start but more support is needed as we will still need to trade to keep our team in employment.”

Yesterday, Borg-Neal delivered a key video message to his 1000+ workforce, offering them reassurance that he would continue to regard every staff member and colleague at Oakman Inns as a member of his family and support each of them throughout this extremely worrying time. He also introduced a four-point action plan to ensure that the company continues to trade successfully.

He told his staff that Oakman Inns’ pubs are: NOT closing. Every one of their pubs will be staying open and serving their normal menu – if permitted. Peter has asked all the staff to keep up their efforts at ensuring that every surface remains virus-free and to practice social spacing and they are secure in knowing that if they self-isolate, they will not suffer any financial hardship.

Every item on the menu can, with immediate effect, be ordered and collected through a new Collection Service that will allow all Oakman’s customers to enjoy their wood-fired Pizzas, great Vegan dishes, grilled fish and beautiful salads, together with a selection of beers and wines.

Oakman is also launching a new in-house local Delivery Service for their pubs’neighbours who can’t leave their homes – helpful the self-isolating, the box-set bingers and the seriously hungry. And this will include a roast lunch on Mother’s Day so families can still enjoy a special meal together at home.

In return, he is asking  customers to support their local pub – via a Gift Voucher scheme which can be exchanged once all restrictions have been lifted. The scheme will recognise local supporters and their support now will be amply rewarded when the crisis is over.

Peter Borg-Neal added: “In tough times, families stick together – and that’s exactly what we are going to do. We also want to look afterthe individuals and families who live in our communities – just as we normally do, but more so in these difficult times. By offering our new Collection and Delivery services we hope we can help provide them with our freshly prepared dishes and a range of drinks which will hopefully mean they will feel less isolated. We are also asking our customers to do something for us – purchase Gift Vouchers to use in the future which will help us with our cash flow.”