Cost of living crisis: Burnley's Craven Heifer landlady admits fears over rising energy costs this winter
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Michelle Naylor, landlady at the Craven Heifer in Harle Syke for the last five years, revealed her fears to the Burnley Express over the impending cost of lving crisis with energy bills predicted to rocket in the coming months.
“I’m absolutely dreading it,” Michelle said and admitted she didn’t know what the future held.
"At the moment we are thinking what steps we can take to manage the risk, and give our customers some confidence. We are trying to be frugal and think outside the box because customers won’t have the same amount of money in their pockets as they did.”
One example of thinking outside the box is advice to staff not to have bar lights on if the pub is empty, reduced opening hours and even a ‘blackout’ night in November when regulars will be asked to bring along a candle and blanket to enjoy a pint in front of the fire.
"It feels like wartime and rationing, which many of our customers won’t have experienced. We’ve decided to host a blackout night where will encourage our locals to come along with a blanket and candles. We’ll light our fire, turn off our televisions and mobile phones.
"It’s back to basics, but it will be fun and should hopefully show what local pubs are here for – to provide a meeting place, give company to someone and even a shoulder to cry on.”
Michelle explained that currently the pub’s energy bills are managed through Star Energy as the pub is part of Star Bars and Pubs, part of the Heineken chain, but the way bills are paid will be changing from October.
She added: “At the moment we pay a certain amount each month as part of the rent, but from October it will be a bill as you use it each month. This scares me to be honest.
“Our rates are cheaper at the weekend so we will see what we can do to try and maximise the cheaper rates then. We will be opening an hour later on weekdays with last orders half an hour earlier. Our weekend hours will remain the same.”