The London businesses trying to incentivise people to travel during next week's Tube strike - steak for £15 anyone?

20 July 2023, 12:32 | Updated: 20 July 2023, 13:11

Businesses are hoping people will still try to make it into London
Businesses are hoping people will still try to make it into London. Picture: Alamy/Hawksmoor

By Will Taylor

London's businesses are enticing customers to travel during the upcoming Tube strikes - or supporting those who can't get around.

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Steak and seafood restaurant Hawksmoor has announced it will offer a £15 steak and frites deal it says will lose the business money but keep its staff busy.

It said its industry has lost billions during the industrial action.

The Tube walkouts, which take place between Sunday, July 23, and Friday, July 28, will result in little to no services on most of the Underground from Tuesday to Friday next week.

Read more: Commuters warned to expect disruption as 20,000 rail workers strike in row over pay

Hawksmoor, which has eight locations across London, said on its website: "It probably hasn't escaped your notice that transport strikes aren't great for restaurants, any more than they're great for you.

"Sure, people have the right to strike and fight for more money, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard.

"Fortunately, Hawksmoor is doing OK, but this obviously impacts you and our teams. So, what to do about it?

Tube strikes will affect hospitality
Tube strikes will affect hospitality. Picture: Alamy

"Well, we've decided to grab the cow by the horns and offer £15 steak & frites (without bone marrow), kicking off the offer from Thursday 20th until the end of July and then every rail/tube strike day for the foreseeable future."

The statement went on: "And, if you can't come to Hawksmoor, consider nipping for lunch somewhere else.

"The hospitality industry has lost about £3bn since the strikes began and businesses are closing at an increasingly fast rate. A bit of fun for you, a welcome bit of business for them."

Read more: Senior doctors start 48 hours of strikes as NHS care to cut down to Christmas Day-style emergency cover

Cahoots will provide a complimentary drink for any traveller who's managed to get in via the rails.

It is turning its post-war, 1940's Tube-style bar in Carnaby Street, Soho, into a hideaway for anyone who manages to make it to central London.

Rail strikes are set to disrupt services to London
Rail strikes are set to disrupt services to London. Picture: Alamy

"Step into Cahoots, the one station that will be staying open all week! Present a travel card, payment card, or Oyster card, and sip on a complimentary "Strike Sipper" as you order a delightful cocktail," it said in an Instagram post.

Meanwhile, Londoners craving a coffee fix can get free cups if they are unable to get about, with Blank Street Coffee running a hotline until July 29.

Its UK managing director Ignacio Llado told The Caterer: "We know that spirits may be down at the moment, with rain and travel troubles leading to a host of cancelled plans. At Blank Street, we're all about providing a pick-me-up to your day.

"This is why we've launched the Cold Brew Hotline, to hand deliver fresh cold brew to those in need of a little boost."

UKHospitality, an industry representative body, previously estimated next week's strikes would cost £160m in sales.

They come just as schools in England finish for the summer and the tourist season kicks into gear.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Not only will the sector lose millions, but consumers will have their plans interrupted and workers will struggle to get to work."

RMT members on the Tube are striking over job cuts, pensions and working conditions.

The DLR, London Overground and Elizabeth Line will be affected by station closures.

Train strikes have also been called by the same union that are set to lead to widespread rail service cancellations. These are being held today, on Saturday (July 22) and July 29.

Aslef has also announced members across 15 train companies will refuse overtime work from Monday 31 July to Saturday 5 August.