Outdoor seating

Goodbye Take-Away, Hello Alfresco Dining

Westminster City Council have announced the repeat of their alfresco dining scheme that saw the streets of the West End pedestrianised last summer to make way for outdoor drinking and dining. Yes, that means in just over one month you could be sipping on a drink, in the sun, with your friends, with not one Zoom Party in sight. 

The scheme is set to begin on 12th April when outdoor dining is scheduled to be allowed again under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown and will last until at least September 2021. The council have confirmed that 60 streets in total will be pedestrianised across Soho, Covent Garden, Chinatown, Fitzrovia, Oxford Circus, Paddington and Marylebone, allowing hospitality venues to apply for pavement licences.

Outdoor seating

Leader of Westminster city council, Rachael Robanthan said: “Hospitality is a major employer in Westminster supporting around 80,000 jobs and a big part of the reason people visit the West End. But with shutters down and doors barred, this sector has been amongst the hardest hit during lockdown.”

“We know how hard this has been, which is why we are relaunching our al fresco scheme as soon as the easing of restrictions allows, to help struggling businesses as much as we can.”

Last summer, out of Westminster’s 3,700 restaurants and bars, 560 took advantage of the scheme – which overlapped with Eat Out To Help Out – and the council is encouraging more to take up the offer.

Whilst some may argue that schemes such as this enhance the risk of breaking social distancing rules and the public getting out of hand, hospitality venues have suffered severely over the past year and these initiatives are vital if we want so many of our beloved venues to remain afloat. Venues will have to ensure the correct safety measures are in place and so it is up to us as customers to go and support the businesses and traders we have so long missed and assist them on the road to recovery. 

For a city whose streets have so long been empty, the pedestrianisation of the West End will call for the return of a buzzing atmosphere; filled with summer cocktails, delicious cuisines and catching up with friends. This network of streets could be the hub of London life after lockdown, so get booking and don’t miss out. 

Welcome back Pimms O’ clock, O’ how we have missed you.


International Women's Day #ChooseToChallenge

International women’s day is celebrated every year around the world on March 8th. It is dedicated to honoring the achievements of women throughout history and calls to accelerate gender parity. 

This years theme is #ChooseToChallenge, the idea is that a world that is challenged is alert and this year the international women’s day campaign is encouraging people to take responsibility for their own actions and thoughts by calling out gender inequality and discrimination 

How can you get involved? 

By showing your hand help up high in support of change. Through the www.internationalwomensday.com website, you can upload a picture of yourself in the position shown above raising your right hand to show your support for the movement. Some of these submissions will be displayed on the IWD website and social media pages.

Alternatively, the website currently displays a list of ways that you can creatively support and celebrate the moment within your community and/or workspace.




Why is Women’s day so important?

It brings debates about women’s successes and global gender disparity into the mainstream, by encouraging people of all cultures, ages, and genders to think about what they can do to make the world a more fair place for everyone and whilst it is celebrated globally by people for so many varying reasons, there is a clear focus on equality.

What will be held this year?

With the uncertainty that has surrounded all events this year, the usual #March4Women will not be taking place as expected and will instead be replaced by an online action. 

Alternatively, Equation is hosting their annual IWD event online by inviting a series of speakers to share their wisdom every Monday throughout March on Zoom.

 Many boardrooms are still dominated by men, but the continued success of women in business highlights the importance of incorporating women’s perspectives.

Here at Posh Cockney we value and celebrate all of the powerful women in our lives and will continue to do so moving forward! 

To join the movement and find more information please visit www.internationalwomensday.com.


UK Government announces Grant to Revive the Hospitality Industry

Restaurants, hotels and nightclubs are just a few of the businesses under the hospitality umbrella that have suffered as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. The industry has bared the brunt of the cycle of lockdowns during the course of the global crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic rocked the world and has affected everything in its wake and continues to persist. The hospitality industry was far from immune to the effects of the pandemic. The industry has been hit the hardest by the pandemic, resulting in catastrophic consequences for some businesses.

However, there does seem to be hope yet, as Boris Johnson’s announcement of his roadmap out of lockdown indicates that the hospitality industry will be able to begin operating to its full capacity once again. Not only this, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £5bn restart grant scheme in his budget this week, which will award hospitality business’ payments of up to £18,000. This action from the government offers optimism, as they have a big role to play in aiding in the revival of hospitality businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.

Closed Pub

Despite the obvious blessing that this grant scheme presents, it may not be the golden ticket that it seems. The series of closures and the many restrictions have caused several businesses to crumble under the weight of it all. Though the grant does provide grace, it may not be enough to resurrect businesses from the serious damage caused by the pandemic. The hospitality industry has been abandoned for so long, the grant being offered is only one step in the lengthy recovery process.

Whilst this grant scheme may feel like too little too late for some, it will offer a vital helping hand that businesses in the industry have been yearning for. Many businesses’ cash reserves have been drained as a result of forced closures, so the designated money will provide the relief needed by so many. With any luck, it will be the kick-starter to businesses finding their feet again and being able to sustain themselves through and beyond this crisis. The grant provides substantial hope for the businesses who believed that they may not pull through this challenging time.

It has been a long road of uncertainty for the hospitality industry and the proposed grant scheme is the light at the end of the tunnel that so many businesses so desperately need. This will hopefully be the spark that will reignite the industry initiating a return to its full glory.

Hotel Room

Airbnb Co-Founder believes PR is the best form of Marketing

Airbnb Co-Founder believes “PR is the best form of marketing and doesn’t plan on using much of the paid adverting in the future” is this a strategy you would take?

After generating the same percentage in online traffic as the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, Airbnb has revealed they are making a permanent cut in the investment towards paid performance marketing for the foreseeable future. 

The American vacation rental company states they are never going back to the same paid marketing pre-pandemic expenditures. Following the annual reports, Airbnb recorded a 58% spending reduction on brand and performance marketing in 2020, but have still managed to generate a massive 95% online traffic surge. After a successful year with the greater number of traffic coming from either direct or unpaid services, the new strategy for the increasingly growing brand is now following a full-funnelled marketing approach with PR starting at the top. 

PR is the art of managing a successful brand and its reputation. Public relations is unquestionably one of the key aspects of marketing when focusing on increasing brand awareness and generating leads. Brian Chesky, co-founder and chief executive of Airbnb, described that the “brand identity was practically built through PR and press”. He added that Airbnb had featured in an impressive “0.5 million articles in the last year, of 2020, and had as much share of a voice as most of the other major travel companies”. 

The courageous move to slash paid performance advertising by a huge $800m has caused controversial strategic marketing plans for future campaigns. To the likes of larger companies, like Facebook and Google, who are extremely data-driven, is this a risk that businesses are willing to take?

Dave Stephenson, the chief financial officer of Airbnb, still deems performance marketing to be an “absolutely important lever” to the strategy of building a successful brand. He continues to explain that “paid performance advertising will be implemented where it makes economic sense too”. Due to the pandemic having such a negative impact on the travel and hotel industry, other businesses like Booking.com have also had to adapt to these strange circumstances, by cutting their marketing expenses by 61% to survive this never ending nightmare.

The risks of paid ads can weigh heavily on small businesses if they do not pay attention to the analytics. Nevertheless, keeping track of PPC ads can avoid unwanted costs, and if monitored regularly, paid adverts are beneficial in producing targeted, customisable and measurable data.

Is the risk to cut paid marketing, a bad move or a smart one?

For more information on how Posh Cockney can create a bespoke PR strategy for your brand, Click Here.