Government support on energy bills welcomed by Black Country restaurant owner

A government support package which will help cut energy bills for businesses has been welcomed by a restaurant owner in the Black Country.

Peter Towler
Peter Towler

The scheme will fix wholesale gas and electricity prices for firms for six months from 1 October, shielding businesses from crippling costs.

The news has been welcomed by Peter Towler, who has owned Tipton based Mad O'Rourke's Pie Factory since 2000.

Both the restaurant and the Mad Pies production kitchen are impacted by high energy bills all year round.

Peter said: “We, just like businesses up and down the UK, are facing a monumental challenge in the form of rising energy costs.

"Government support has been urgently needed across the hospitality industry and the announcement will offer some much needed hope for what is set to be a difficult winter ahead for many business owners.

“The threat of rising energy bills has come at a time when the number of pubs in England and Wales has fallen dramatically.

"It’s estimated that we’ve lost 7,000 since 2012.

"For centuries, pubs have been so much more than just somewhere to grab a drink, they are the heart of our communities and as pub owners, we need to lean into that philosophy before we see even more forced to close their doors."

He added: “For me, rising energy prices puts pressure on both our restaurant and our food delivery business and while this announcement will ease some of those pressures, I would still urge other business owners to consider diversifying their offerings to create an even greater buffer zone against the current economic climate.

“Whether that is using existing facilities to offer a take-away service, taking the business online as we have with Mad Pies Online or offering a delivery service of some of your most popular items, playing to your strengths and creating multiple points of entry offers more opportunities to generate vital extra income.

“This isn’t a silver bullet and it’s something that may not be possible for businesses which we know are already under huge amounts of pressure, but for those that are able to expand into other areas, now is the time to branch out before we find ourselves in an even worse situation.”

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