A HEREFORDSHIRE pub is bracing for one of its most difficult winters yet, considering redundancies and a five-month closure.

The owner of the Inn on the Wye, in Kerne Bridge, near Ross-on-Wye, has been faced with "some of the most difficult decisions" with the cost of living crisis having a "big impact".

The 17th-century pub's boss, Louise Turley, said the pub had always been a seasonal business, and making losses over a quiet winter could be the norm.

But she said preparing for this winter had been tricky due to the cost of living crisis affecting all hospitality businesses, with higher energy costs and people cutting back on spending.


Changes have now been decided, opening four days a week, after she made some difficult decisions.

She considered whether it was just better to shut the doors until March, but after multiple meetings with the management team, discussions with accountants and a team meeting with her "amazing staff", armed with figures and scenarios, the plan was hatched.

From Monday, November 14 until February 12, the pub will only open on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but reduced hours "inevitably" lead to redundancies.

"This has not been an easy decision and many tears have been shed as I made decisions that would potentially have a massive impact on our team," she said.

"Redundancies were going to be inevitable with reduced opening hours.

"The team have been amazing in pulling together, offering to reduce their hours in order to save others and wholeheartedly agreeing to do whatever it takes to do whatever is needed to ensure we can get through these tough times ahead.

Want to stay up to date with all the latest Ross-on-Wye news? It's easy, just sign up for our weekly email newsletter here and all the important stories that matter to you will be delivered straight to your inbox.

"Those I have had to let go of has been with great sadness and no reflection on their amazing service and commitment throughout the year. I have no doubt they will be a great asset in the new roles they are going to and want to wish them great success."

She said chefs are now busy coming up with new weekly menus so that the pub, with a coffee shop and soft play area, can offer a more flexible menu that quickly responds to any cost increases.

She also thanked customers for their support, adding: "We need you now more than ever."

It will also mean it can offer an "affordable range of dishes to allow everyone to continue eating out over the winter months".


She said any Christmas party bookings would be unaffected.

"We are not the first to identify these issues, but we are the first in holding our hands up and recognising that we need to make adjustments to cope with these additional pressures over the winter," she said.

"Rather than let it beat us we are going to respond, adjust and make changes to ensure that the business can survive and we are there when you most need us from March through to November."

She added: "I wanted to share this story in the hope it helps others in hospitality facing these difficult times and to say to my fellow hoteliers, landlords and restaurant owners that the outcome is likely to not be as bad as you expect and that I was met by huge support from my team."

"My fears were far worse than the reality. Coming together and joining hands re-unites us in times of fear and makes us stronger."