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Entrepreneurs Panel

Charlie Mullins
Jeremy Roberts
Richard O'Sullivan
Laura Tenison
David Pollock
Julie Meyer
Brian Hay
Jennie Johnson
Michael Oliver
Tony Caldeira
Debbie Pierce
Steve Purdham

Bah humbug

Jeremy Roberts

Joined forces with Tim Bacon in 1996 to set up Life Restaurants, which launched the Via Vita restaurant chain. They opened the Living Room on Deansgate in 1999 -the first of a 13-unit chain that their company, Living Ventures, sold in July 2007 for £28 million – and did a deal with The Restaurant Group in 2005 which saw the pair take control of the Est Est Est estate, since rebranded as Blackhouse Grill and Gusto.

Question: 

Business has been pretty slow of late and as the Christmas party season fast approaches, I am worried that I won’t be able to afford a staff party. Will I get away with not holding a party, or will this damage morale among my workers?

Answer: 

Christmas is always important and if you usually have a party it does send a strong message about how confident you are feeling if you cancel Christmas.

That said, there is no reason why you should not temper the expense to the climate and situation your business is in and, as long as you explain your thinking to your staff, they will understand - especially if you are asking them to make sacrifices elsewhere in the business.

In fact, having the same scale of party as usual could be seen as an irresponsible action on your part. So the key is to communicate clearly and you will have a Happy Christmas.

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