We understand that these are worrying times and that you will have lots of questions. To help
you, we have compiled a list of the most asked questions and their answers below, along with
sources of further advice and information.
In the meantime, if you can’t find the answer you were looking for, then please contact your
Business Development Manager, who is here to work with you during this crisis.
Is everyone at Trust Inns still working?
At the time of compiling this FAQ sheet, the majority of the Trust Inns’ team are still available by
phone and email for help and assistance should you require it. All of our BDMs are available on their
mobiles and will be able to advise you of any changes.
Remember to check your emails and our social media accounts for regular updates on government
advice and information which we are looking to share with you. We’re also sharing any business
ideas we think you might be interested in such as the SavePubLife campaign and mypubshop.com
What is the advised method of cleaning my beer dispense lines whilst they are out of use?
Please ensure that your draught dispense systems are protected so that when your outlet can reopen, you are able to serve great quality beer as soon as possible.
Failing to properly close down the system can cause irrevocable damage to the system and render it
unusable. This will result in costly, time consuming work to replace the equipment which will cause
delay to your outlet re-opening. Also, by turning off (or adjusting the temperature of) cellar cooling
and turning beer coolers off you will save money while closed.
The close down process:
- Disconnect all the kegs.
- Clean all the lines in the outlet following your standard process.
- When the lines are cleaned and flushed empty the cleaning bottle and blow the lines clear of
water (this can be done by opening the taps and waiting until all the water is dispensed and
the lines are empty).
- You should leave the lines empty of water (water can cause damage and taints to the lines).
- Spray the couplers with alcohol sanitiser spray and prevent them from dropping on the floor.
- Clean the tap nozzles and put them back on the taps.
- Switch off the beer coolers and turn off any gas bottles
NB. Cellar cooling can be turned off to save energy. Turn your thermostat to 18 degrees so the
evaporator will still circulate air, but the compressor will not kick in (this is the element that incurs
the running cost). However once temperatures rise ie 20 degrees or over, simply turn the system
off. It’s also worth switching the system on for a time 2 hours each month, just to make sure it
doesn’t seize up whilst the pub is closed.
When will my gaming machines be emptied and re-floated?
Unfortunately AWP (amusements with prizes)/gaming machine suppliers are having to abide by the
same social distancing rules as everyone else and therefore cannot send team members into your
pubs to complete this. However your relevant gaming company will be in touch as soon as they are
able to arrange to do this for you. In the meantime if your AWP machine/s has not been emptied
please move it to a secure location out of sight from the windows or public view.
I need a repair doing in my pub. Is helpdesk still open?
Our help desk is still available but given the restriction on travel and the implementation of social
distancing, we are limited to the types of repairs we can carry out during this time. We are here if
you need help for any emergency repairs so please continue to call our helpdesk number: 01257
238804 and your call will be directed to your Estate Manager who can guide you.
When will my pub be able to reopen?
At the time of compiling this leaflet, we are not sure! What we do know is that you must follow the
government guidelines for your own and your customer’s safety and well-being. We are aware that
the closure period is to be reviewed every 28 days. But don’t worry! As soon as pubs can reopen
then we will certainly let you know!
Why have I been charged 100% of my usual rent invoice when your letter stated we only needed
to pay 50%?
Upon payment of 50% of your invoice, a credit note will be issued for the balance so you will only
pay 50% of the total invoice in total.
We haven’t been trading for a couple of weeks now, should I make my 50% rent payment when I
receive my grant from my local authority?
Absolutely. Contact you BDM or credit controller once you have received the grant and they will
discuss the payment with you.
I’ve got lots of unused stock in my cellar. What can I do with it?
We appreciate that some of you will have both unopened and partly used stock. Here is our advice
for each type:
Once Marston’s are able to uplift unused and unopened stock, we will process them so that, where
possible, we will be able to replace with a fresh keg or cask. This will only occur at such time as pubs
are able to start trading again. We are pleased to confirm that this option is available on most but
not all draught keg and cask brands within our portfolio.
If you have not yet provided detail of any unopened draught stock in your cellar then please contact
your BDM immediately who will forward the information on.
Opened /waste stock
On Friday 27 March, HMRC announced they were going to relax the rules on the destruction of
waste beer with ‘immediate effect’. This means that they will allow pub staff to destroy beer in
order to facilitate getting excise back to brewers – and ultimately for you to be able to claim the duty
element of the purchase price of each product. The British Beer and Pub Association are now
currently developing best practice guidance for this, particularly given the environmental
considerations of tipping bulk quantities of beer into drainage systems.
We ask that you do nothing for now as we are still waiting on industry practice guidance – so please
do NOT attempt to destroy any stock on site as this will ultimately impact on your ability to receive
any benefit. As soon as we have further clarity and information we shall forward that to you with
instructions and next steps.
What does it mean to furlough my staff and how do I do it?
To “furlough” a member of staff refers to granting them temporary leave. In this instance it would
be because your business has been required to close due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The
government have agreed to support workers during this time at zero cost to employers and with the
aim of avoiding mass redundancies.
This scheme is known as the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. Employers can claim for 80% of
furloughed employee’s usual monthly wage costs, up to a value of £2,500, plus the associated
Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension
contributions on that wage.
The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or
before 28th February 2020.
Each employee on this scheme must be furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks and must not
complete any work for the business in that time frame or the scheme may not be available.
Furlough employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does
not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation. See later in this
handout for details of free training available to bar staff.
At the time of going to print, it was thought that the online portal to claim this benefit would be
available by the end of April 2020. It is also thought that is when the first payments will be made but
may be backdated from 1st March 2020. Enforcement and audit will be through the PAYE returns.
It is thought that further guidance will be available shortly and as soon as we know more we will
share it with you.
I want to apply for a government grant but what is it for and how do I apply for it?
There is one scheme for England and another scheme for Scotland so the rules vary slightly.
The government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses
that already pay little or no business rates. This will provide a one off grant of £10,000 to help meet
on-going business costs such as rent and utilities during the Coronavirus crisis.
You will be eligible for this grant if you are in receipt of small business rate relief as of 11th March.
You should not have to apply but where you are concerned that you may miss out then you should
contact your local authority.
We believe that monies were released to local authorities on 27th March 2020 so your local authority
should be in touch shortly. Once you have received your grant please let your BDM know.
In Scotland if you have a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £51,000 then you
will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.
A one-off grant of £10,000 will also be available to small businesses who get Small Business Bonus
Scheme relief and Rural Relief. If you’re eligible for a grant you do not need to repay it.
To apply for a grant you will need to complete an application form on your local council website.
Councils will aim to make payment within 10 working days of receiving a grant application form.
For help with any aspect of a grant application please speak to your BDM and update your credit
controller as appropriate. Once you receive your grant please let your BDM know.
Is there anything I can do to generate income whilst my pub is closed?
This is a difficult one. Obviously if you are limited company and class yourself as an employee so
that you are furloughed, you cannot be seen to work on or in the business for a minimum of three
weeks. Failure to do this would affect any financial support you receive.
However, if that doesn’t apply to you then there are a variety of different ideas we’ve seen shared
on social media and from tenants from across our estate. Below are just a few but remember to
share any others with us either via your BDM or on our social media sites.
- Takeaway food option
- Becoming a local community shop offering basic supplies see www.mypubshop.com
- Deliveries to the vulnerable members of your community
- Offering gift card vouchers for customers to purchase now and spend when the pub reopens
- Generating an online community via Facebook or Zoom to host online quizzes or karaoke
nights. We’ve seen one pub do a Play your Cards Right game where customers were able to
pay to enter to win a prize via paypal!
- Or simply use social media to just stay in touch. Even if it’s just to share funny stories and
show that you’re still there thinking of them. This means so much to those who may be
feeling isolated or over whelmed by the situation. We’re in the process of collating lots of
different ideas for you to share with your community and will post these on our social media
sites for you to access.
Is there any way that I could access free training so that I can update my skills whilst the pub is
closed ie do all the things I’d like to do but I’m always too busy!
There are a few FREE training options available whilst you’re in lockdown that you might find useful.
These are also great for any team members that you may have furloughed if you want them to brush
up on key skills that will help you grow your business once you can begin trading again.
This company has opened up their whole training platform for 100% free access to their whole suite
of online courses which cover bar skills, serve information and trading during the pandemic.
All new users will be able to access all courses for FREE until at least 1st June 2020. Ananas has
pledged to keep the service free for as long as venues remain closed. To sign up all you have to do
is visit their academy website and head to the individuals tab. Find it at www.ananasacademy.com
CPL Learning has some fantastic FREE courses that can help you and your staff deal with this time of
uncertainty. They have released a Mental Health & Personal Resilience course as well as some
COVIC-19 specific courses.
If you’ve taken up the opportunity to provide a delivery and/or takeaway service in your pub, then
CPL have a FREE Planning Delivery & Takeaway course to help you make preparations while
providing you with a checklist of actions to consider and to communicate when conducting this new
They have also rolled out 75% discount across their range of e-learning courses so this could be the
perfect time to learn some new skills that will help your business in the long run. Take a look at
Sensational Drinks is a Britvic owned web platform that gives pub operators a helping hand by
providing a free suite of services, support tools and inspiration to grow their business. The website
- Range advice and guidance to identify gaps and maximise sales
- Access to the latest innovation and ability to trial new products
- Free promotional material to drive sales
- Free glassware and merchandise offers
- Recipe Inspiration and advice from leading bartenders
- Tips and advice for driving additional footfall into your business
- Free, food & drinks menu design and print service (coming soon)
- You simply need to register on the site to receive all this and access to exclusive offers for free!
Find details at www.sensationaldrinks.com
Diageo bar academy
Diageo, owner of Guinness and key spirits brands such as Smirnoff, Bells and Gordon’s have been
working with their key stakeholders to create a weekly programme of daily educational content,
available to anyone in the trade who is of legal drinking age. This is led by the Diageo Bar Academy
and Reserve teams, and went live on Monday 6th April.
The daily webinars hosted on line each weekday at 2pm, are inclusive for all levels covering a range
of topics from categories to brand knowledge, merchandising, menus, beer quality and how to
market your business online.
All pubs and staff can tune in daily, build capability and give tips and tricks to boost their revenue!
Other sources of advice and information
Still looking to find out more? Then we recommend the following sites as a great way to stay in
touch with all that’s currently happening and how it’s affecting our industry.
British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)
The BBPA is the voice of the beer and pub industry. They have set up a specific COVID-19 page that
provides useful links to everything you need to know including how to access government support.
UKHospitality has been closely monitoring Coronavirus developments and is keeping members
informed through updates, advice and guidance, plus they have a great range of information on the
government financial packaged and business continuity.
UKH are also provide daily updates as things develop, so you can either visit the site for those
updates or you’ll be able to sign up to receive a daily email to get access to any new advice. Visit
The impact of COVID-19 on the out-of-home industry is being felt by all. To try and make sense of
how this is impacting businesses, CGA has created a section on their website that will be regularly
updated. CGA is sharing insights for free to support all outlets during this incredibly challenging
time. Visit https://www.cga.co.uk/covid-19-outbreak-and-its-impact-on-the-on-trade/
Keep up to date with the latest industry news, including latest information about food & drink
delivery, and access to a live feed for advice and support. Visit