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Covid UK: Tier 2 barman urges drinkers to ‘only go to pub if hungry’

Barman in tier 2 urges drinkers to ‘only go to the pub if they’re hungry’ after being forced to bin three untouched meals left by customers who just wanted beer

  • Will Dalrymple shared a tweet showing three plates of food that had to be binned
  • Pub-goers in tier 2 areas must order a ‘substantial’ meal in order to have a drink
  • Will urged people to only go for drink if they’re hungry, branding waste ‘obscene’
  • Do you have examples of food waste to share? Email [email protected]  

A barman is urging drinkers to only go to the pub if they’re hungry after being forced to throw out plates of untouched food.

Will Dalrymple, from Sheffield, shared a photo of three wasted meals abandoned by customers who ‘only wanted two Morettis each’ on Twitter at the weekend.

Under the government’s latest three tier system of rules to protect against the spread of coronavirus, bars and pubs in tier 2 areas must close to the public unless they are operating as restaurants.

This means alcohol can only be served on the premises alongside a ‘substantial meal’.  

Appalled Will shared a photo of three wasted meals abandoned by customers who ‘only wanted two Morettis each’ on Twitter at the weekend

Barman Will Dalrymple, from Sheffield, is urging drinkers to only go to the pub if they're hungry after being forced to throw out plates of untouched food

Barman Will Dalrymple, from Sheffield, is urging drinkers to only go to the pub if they’re hungry after being forced to throw out plates of untouched food

Will explained that the sandwiches, side salads and bowls of chips had to go in the bin because the trio came in purely for beer.

He added: ‘With everything in the news about people relying on food banks and free school meals, this is utterly obscene.’

In a series of tweets, he said: ‘If you’re desperate to go to/support a pub, go when you’re hungry.’

Acknowledging that the new rules are ‘confusing’, he went on: ‘Aside from the APPALLING food waste I’ve witnessed over the last two days (scraping whole meals, untouched, into the bin because the people who bought them fancied one pint before catching the train home).

‘You really should be actually eating in order to be able to enjoy alcoholic drinks. 

In a series of tweets, Will said: 'If you're desperate to go to/support a pub, go when you're hungry'

In a series of tweets, Will said: ‘If you’re desperate to go to/support a pub, go when you’re hungry’

‘While I can sort of see the rationale behind the rules, they’re horribly vague and put bar staff in a difficult position. Each pub will interpret the rules differently. Accept it.’

The barman, who didn’t reveal the establishment where he works, also urged punters not to put pressure on staff to bend the rules – and to stay calm and reasonable when restrictions are enforced. 

His tweet sparked dozens of comments, with a number suggesting Will’s pub package up the unwanted food and give it to a homeless charity.

However Will and other commentators explained this is not possible as the food is meant to be consumed on the premises and could be contaminated.

Will's tweet sparked dozens of comments, with a number suggesting Will's pub package up the unwanted food and give it to a homeless charity - however Will and other commentators explained this is not possible as the food is meant to be consumed on the premises and could be contaminated

Will’s tweet sparked dozens of comments, with a number suggesting Will’s pub package up the unwanted food and give it to a homeless charity – however Will and other commentators explained this is not possible as the food is meant to be consumed on the premises and could be contaminated

What can you do in a pub in each tier? 

  • Tier 1 – Pubs are open for alcohol or food with people from different households allowed to sit together.
  • Tier 2 – Pubs can only serve alcohol with a ‘substantial meal’. People from different households can only sit together outside, and must follow the ‘rule of six’. Those sitting inside the pub at the same table must be from the same household.
  • Tier 3 – Pubs are closed for everything but takeaway.

Landlords accused the Government of providing ‘no clarity’ on the substantial meal rule. 

A substantial meal is defined by the Government as a ‘full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal’ – with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick claiming a pasty on its own doesn’t count, but when served with chips and salad it does, and environment secretary George Eustice suggesting a scotch egg is sufficient. 

Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, said: ‘It’s not entirely clear if you had a sausage roll with a bowl of chips, would that be substantial? I’m not clear on that.’

Some pub owners have got creative to get around the new rules, with one adding boiling water to instant dishes and serving them as ‘substantial’ meals.

In response to people who were critical of his post, Will added: ‘Just to say, I completely understand people’s frustration at the rules and I’m as grateful for and welcoming to customers as I ever was. 

‘However, hospitality workers have no choice but to enforce the rules. 

‘All these tweets are asking for is for co-operation.’ 

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