We have had such a brilliant and mixed week. We reached the incredible milestone of our 10th anniversary and had a wonderful celebration and felt so much love and support from so many of our regular customers - as well as starting to see the impact of the Corona virus on Lunya with a tail off in trade and lots of sports and other events cancelled in both cities.
Rest assured that we are taking every measure possible to keep our customers and staff safe. All tables and chairs get sanitised after each use. All menus and credit card machines get sanitised after each use. We regularly (at least every hour) wipe and saintise door handles, push plates, buttons and other surfaces. Our staff use sanitiser each time they collect crockery, cutlery and glasses from a table and wash their hands after they drop them off back of house. We have extra sanitisers in all of our toilet areas. If any member of staff returns from holiday from anywhere with any control or lockdown procedures, we require them to have 7 days of staying off work to ensure no symptoms develop. We have stopped sampling trays in the deli and sampling on the street to minimise risk of infection. If you want to taste something, just ask our staff. We are seating guests further apart and maintaining 1 metre space between guests. For our tasting events, we are not having any sharing plates and giving all guests their own individual plate, and for the time being, we will not be doing communal tables. These are just some of the things we are doing. We have always had impeccably high standards of hygiene with every site having 5 stars for food hygiene. Yours and our staff safety is paramount, so please do come and visit, safe in the knowledge that we take it very seriously and have careful plans in place.
As a family-owned, independent business, times have never been tougher over the last year. 2019 was a poor year for the hospitality industry, with reductions in footfall and trade, increased costs with the drop in exchange rate and people going out less, spending less when they do, and generally feeling uncertain about the future. But with the virus impact now, things are just starting to get much worse! This is all very temporary, but we do need to get through it. We have a fantastic and sound underlying business but we (like most businesses) are going to experience significant cash-flow issues. Hoping for the best and planning for the worst!
Our plan for survival through this crisis is to preserve all our income to pay staff wages and the bills of our small, independent suppliers first. We are expecting further significant drops in trade with possible further government restrictions. If you feel well yourself, please do come and visit, your support is crucial for there still to be a Lunya when this is all over. Our events are also still on. Do not worry, if you have to cancel, you will not lose any deposit and can use that for anything else at all with us.
If you do not feel comfortable going out right now, why not buy a voucher for when all of this is over? - that helps us tremendously with cash flow and you can buy these
You can order food and drink online from our deli. We are now offering free local delivery for any spend over £20. If you, yourself, have had to self-isolate, or indeed you would just like us to do it, we can collect other groceries and provisions from other shops and bring them to you with our order. Please just ask by emailing in, and we will take it from there. We want to help in anyway we can.
We are setting ourselves up with Deliveroo so those in both city centres can order hot food (and our drinks) delivered directly to our door. We are also going to offer delivery of menu items, direct ourselves, to your home and we'll write to you later in the week about that.
We are worried about the future. We have already written to HMRC (who are being helpful), our landlords (our Liverpool landlords have been fantastic and helpful, different in Manchester) and our leasing companies and lenders for payment holidays. Some are being helpful, some are not (particularly leasing companies).
If there are any property or commercial lawyers out there who could give us some advice, we would be eternally grateful and exchange food and drink for advice!
We know that through careful planning and support, that we should be able to get through this, which is why we are starting to do the above so quickly (if we leave it too late, we won't); we also know that things are likely to get worse and we must have a survival plan in place. Rest assured that right now we are fine, but this is making sure it stays that way. We have the most fabulous staff team (over 100 of them) and we want to do everything to ensure that they get the hours they need for their own financial well-being. Thank you, and don't forget to read about all of the wonderful things we have and are doing below, Peter & Elaine. x
PS. If you are planning to visit, please, please book ahead to help us with our staff planning, you can book online, phone or email. We are already on reduced hours, and booking ahead is so careful - but don't let that stop you calling in on the spur of the moment, too! And if you are going to stockpile anything, forget about toilet paper and concentrate on cheese, meat and wine!