Watch the Business Leader Insight interview with Merlin Griffiths here

Many will recognise Merlin Griffiths as the friendly barman and the first port of call for the nervous diners in the Channel 4 show First Dates, but there is more to him than meets the eye.

Often referred to as the ‘King of Cocktails’, Merlin has been a mixologist travelling the world and whipping up delectable drinks for over 25 years. He also is the proud owner of a country inn in Northamptonshire, giving him firsthand experience of the difficulties in the hospitality sector.

Thanks to Smart Meter GB for helping us organise this edition of Business Leader Insight. Their guide Hospitality – Take Time, Take Control is available to download now. Contact your energy supplier to find out if your business is eligible for a smart meter.

Here’s a breakdown of what we discussed in the interview:

  • Can you tell us about your background? (1:24)
  • Can you talk about the impact that the pandemic has had on restaurants and bars, including your own? (2:18)
  • How have you found the messaging from the Government? (3:53)
  • A report claimed that Eat Out to Help Out could be a major factor behind the second coronavirus spike. Do you think the hospitality industry is getting unfairly blamed for spreading the virus? (6:38)
  • How do you see the recovery – do you see a surge in people dining and investing in experiences when this is over, and do you have any tips for restaurant owners? (8:39)
  • Have you heard of any publicans closing their businesses? Has it got that bad for them yet? (14:32)
  • How did you end up working on the Channel 4 show First Dates? (16:32)
  • You’ve worked with Smart Energy GB on a guide to help small hospitality businesses can take back control in these difficult times, could you tell us about that? (17:57)
  • What’s your favourite cocktail? (18:50)
  • Final word from Merlin (19:31)

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