Owner of popular pub group reassures staff and public amid coronavirus pandemic

The CEO of Oakman Inns has introduced a four-point action plan

By Holly Patel
Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 12:50 pm

Oakman started out in Tring, Herts, with founding pub restaurant The Akeman.

It has grown exponentially and Oakman Inns now owns and operates 24 pubs across East of England, South-East England and the Midlands (see list at the bottom of this article).

Peter Borg-Neal, the CEO of Oakman Inns, has cautiously welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s pledge yesterday (Tuesday) to ‘to do whatever it takes’ to keep businesses and people affected by coronavirus solvent.

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Peter Borg-Neal, the CEO of Oakman Inns,

He said: “The Chancellor’s announcement to make available a £330bn package of economic measures is certainly a good start but more support is needed as we will still need to trade to keep our team in employment."

Yesterday, Borg-Neal delivered a video message to his workforce, offering them reassurance that he would continue to regard every staff member and colleague at Oakman Inns as a member of his family and support each of them throughout this extremely worrying time.

He also introduced a four-point action plan to ensure that the company continues to trade successfully.

> He told his staff that Oakman Inns’ pubs are not closing, everyone one of their pubs will be staying open and serving their normal menu – if permitted. Peter has asked all the staff to keep up their efforts at ensuring that every surface remains virus-free and they are secure in knowing that if they self-isolate, they will not suffer any financial hardship.

> That every item on the menu can, with immediate effect, be ordered and collected through a new Collection Service.

> In the next two days, Oakman is launching a new in-house local Delivery Service for their pubs’ neighbours who can’t leave their homes – helpful the self-isolating, the box-set bingers and the seriously hungry. And this will include lunch on Mother’s Day so families can still enjoy a special meal together at home.

> Asking customers to support their local pub – via a Gift Voucher scheme which can be exchanged once all restrictions have been lifted. The scheme will recognise local supporters and their support now will be amply rewarded when the crisis is over.

Borg-Neal added: “In tough times, families stick together – and that’s exactly what we are going to do.

"We also want to look after the individuals and families who live in our communities – just as we normally do, but more so in these difficult times.

"By offering our new Collection and Delivery services we hope we can help provide them with our freshly prepared dishes and a range of drinks which will hopefully mean they will feel less isolated.

"We are also asking our customers to do something for us – purchase Gift Vouchers to use in the future which will help us with our cash flow.”


Bedfordshire: White Hart, Ampthill . Buckinghamshire : Beech House, Amersham, Beech House, Beaconsfield, Cherry Tree, Olney, Dog & Badger, Medmenham, The Akeman Inn, Kingswood, Betsey Wynne, Swanbourne, The Polecat Inn, Prestwood. Hertfordshire: King’s Arms, Berkhamsted, Banyers House, Royston, Beech House, St Albans, The Red Lion, Water End, The Akeman, Tring. Northamptonshire: The Navigation at Thrupp Wharf, Cosgrove. Oxfordshire: The Crown & Thistle, Abingdon, The Old Post Office, Wallingford, Blue Boar, Witney. Warwickshire: The Globe, Warwick, The Four Alls, Welford-on-Avon.