Following discussions at last Wednesday’s Leicestershire Footpath Association’s committee meeting regarding the feedback that walking groups were no longer welcome at a Leicestershire pub due to the behaviour of a walking group just before Christmas, an LFA committee member phoned to get a clear understanding of the matter. The outcome of the conversation with the proprietor was as follows:-
The walking group in question was NOT the LFA group, who had their Christmas meal there and who he remembers as being a very well behaved group who had a good time.
It was another group, although he could not recall who they were and his diary had no record of their name. His problem with them was that he laid on extra staff, as he always would with group bookings, only for it to turn out that they had precious little to eat and drink (mainly soup and glasses of water), and caused extra cleaning requirements in the toilets due to muddy footwear.
He said that as a result of this, group bookings are still welcome at his establishment (including walking groups), but they will have to commit to a minimum charge of £12.50 per person for a two-course meal from the fixed menu (ie, starter and main or main and pudding) or choices from the a la carte menu for at least that price. He said that it was an entirely commercial decision to cover the cost to him of extra catering, serving and cleaning overheads.
The proprietor stated that anyone (an individual or group of individuals) doing a circular walk from the village could go into his establishment for a meal from the full range of menus, just the same as any other casual customers would do, and order drinks and meals and enjoy the ambience of the restaurant.
We have not named the establishment here but our walk organisers will be advised to drop this place as a venue on future walk programmes. Walks could start in the village but an alternative location would be found for the following meal.
It would appear that one walking group has spoilt things for all. But the claimed abuse of the pub is a point we must bear in mind. If you join a walk but don’t intend using the pub PLEASE DON’T use the car park or the pub loo.