Simon Rimmer: Sunday Brunch chef fears he will ‘go out of business’ due to coronavirus

Simon Rimmer, 56, opened up about his concerns for his businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The television presenter and chef admitted the virus could lead to his restaurants “going out of business permanently”.

Simon told his 266,000 Twitter followers that takings in his 13 sites were “down by 66 per cent last night” following advice from the government that warned people to avoid bars and restaurants to prevent the spread of the disease.

He wrote: “After a day when our government tells us to avoid going to bars n restaurants – takings in my 13 sites were down by 66 per cent last night. 

“We have no insurance claims to protect us as it’s not an enforced closure. 

“It won’t take long for us to go out of business permanently.”(sic)

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Simon then added in a separate tweet that suggestions from fans for him to adapt and provide a delivery based business are “not that simple”.

He explained: “I know lots of you are suggesting we become a delivery based business. 

“It’s not that simple. You can’t deliver pints etc. 

“And restaurants aren’t just about food it’s about a whole experience. Plus we have mainly city centre sites.”

Fans took to the comments section of Simon’s posts to share their thoughts on the situation.

One person wrote: “My industry is the same, I am now on zero income.”

Simon spotted the comment, replying: “And no sign of any change either.”

However, another Twitter user wrote: “Don’t want to offend but I feel really sorry for people with a small restaurant/cafe and  just want to make a living. Does anyone really need 13 restaurants? Genuine question.”

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The chef explained his main concerns are for his employees by responding: “No but that’s none of your business – try looking at it another way. 

“I employ 400 plus people. They rely on me to pay their bills etc. Now I don’t know if I can do that for them.”

Yesterday, Simon aired his views on advice from the government by replying to a tweet from The Stranger actor Shaun Dooley.

The star wrote in view of his 14,000 followers: “This is crazy. Theatres, pubs, public spaces etc… none of them can claim on insurance if it’s just ‘recommended’ that people stay away. 

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“We are messing with people’s livelihoods here. Make a decision!!! #covidー19uk.”

“Tell me about it,” Simon exclaimed in response.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain is now moving “emphatically” away from mass gatherings, and increasing social distancing. 

He confirmed in a speech yesterday in reference to London: “It is now clear that the peak of the epidemic is coming faster than some areas than others.

“It’s important Londoners pay special attention to avoid non-necessary contact.”

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