Exclusive: St Paul's caterer lost £10,000 in cathedral closure

St Paul's Cathedral caterer Harbour and Jones lost £10,000 in October, but is optimistic about future events at the cathedral.

Exclusive: St Paul's caterer lost £10,000 in cathedral closure
Exclusive: St Paul's caterer lost £10,000 in cathedral closure

Harbour and Jones runs event catering at the venue as well as the restaurant and café in the cathedral crypt.

Director Patrick Harbour told Event that the cathedral’s closure in October was a "bolt from the blue".

"It’s definitely had a major impact on our business," he said. "In October we lost £10,000. We obviously haven’t got the figures for November yet but it’ll be another month of loss. October to December are probably the busiest months for us because the restaurant in the crypt is cosy in the winter months."

As reported in Event, the cathedral closed for a week due to Occupy London protestors camped outside the entrance.

While it was closed, Harbour and Jones moved 90% of the 30 team members employed at St Paul’s to its other catering sites. Perishable foods were also reassigned to neighbouring venues to reduce food waste.

Harbour told Event that despite the cathedral reopening, around half a dozen events have been cancelled for December.

He added that he is optimistic for the future: "Although it’s really hurting us now there are a lot of enquiries for 2012 which I’m encouraged by. I think from the events side of things people are looking at this as a temporary blip."

"We’ve got the Dunkirk spirit. We’re trying to tell people that we’re open and that if you get through the tents there’s this lovely haven inside."

Will St Paul's closing leaving a lasting inpact on events at the cathedral? To leave a comment register and let us know your thoughts.

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