CORONAVIRUS


Last updated 18/02/2020

Like many businesses, we expect our operations to be substantially disrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak. As the situation evolves, we will update this page.

Our operating season normally runs between mid-April and mid-October. The safety and good health or our staff and customers, as well as the wider public, is paramount. As such, we will not hold any classes until the public health advice on public gatherings changes.

Currently we think it is very unlikely that we will be able to run any classes in April or May. We are hopeful that we may be able to run classes at some point later in the season, but this is by no means guaranteed, and it is possible we will run no classes this year at all.

How we intend to manage class planning

Unless public health advice changes, classes will be cancelled. But uncertainty about how the general situation and when advice might change makes planning ahead difficult. We do not want to jump the gun and cancel classes, only to find it would have been possible to have held them. Equally, we don't want to leave customers uncertain about whether or not their class will go ahead.

With this in mind, for now we plan to wait until 3 weeks before each scheduled class, then to assess the situation and make a final judgement about the cancellation. In anticipation of this, we advise against making any non-refundable travel arrangements to get to a class.

If you have thoughts or concerns about the above, please do contact us with them - your input is welcomed.

We are leaving class bookings open. We do not expect many people to make new bookings, but this will allow people whose classes are cancelled but who still wish to try to attend to plan a future date for a class. We have suspended sales of new gift vouchers, but are still accepting previously issued vouchers against new bookings.

If you have space(s) booked on a class

If/when your class is confirmed as cancelled, we will offer the choice of a refund, or to move to a class (with spaces) later in summer. If you choose to move and the later class is also cancelled, we will repeat the process until there are no spaces left, in which case we will refund you.

If you booked using a gift voucher to pay for all or part of the class, you will have the same choice, but if you choose against rebooking, the amount paid by voucher will be returned to the same voucher for future use. Please see the additional information about vouchers below.

We recognise that many people face immediate financial worries as a result of the current situation. If you would like us to cancel your class booking immediately (instead of waiting until 3 weeks prior to the class) please contact us and we will process a refund as soon as possible.

If you have purchased or been given a gift voucher

You can still use your gift voucher to book a class. If we get towards the end of the season and people have not had an opportunity to use their voucher (due to no classes having been available, or booked classes having been cancelled) then we think the most likely outcome is that we will refund the vouchers' original purchasers. If class spaces prove to be at all limited, we certainly will not enforce a "if you haven't used it then the voucher expires" policy.

Ideally we would like to offer people who have vouchers the choice to extend the validity of the vouchers to 2021, but we are limited by banking covenants (concerned with accepting credit card payments) which specifically prevent this, so it would rely on the consent of the company who process our card payments. We are investigating this.

If you were given a voucher and are concerned that the person who gave it to you may now face financial worries, we are happy to cancel the voucher and refund its original purchaser. Contact us if you would like to do this. We can only make refunds to the purchasing card; we are not able to make refunds to recipients of vouchers.

Our financial position

All pre-payments from customers (both for classes and gift vouchers) are held on deposit. The company has no debts and no creditors. We are in a position to refund 100% of 2020 vouchers and bookings, cover our overheads and still remain solvent. It won't be comfortable for us, but there are no concerns for the security of your payments, and no immediate worries for the survival of London Barbecue School.

What you can do to help

  1. Talk to us if you have any concerns or worries. Likewise if you have suggestions you think might help us manage this situation better.
  2. Make it easy for us to contact you. Ensure our emails do not get consigned to your junk folder - by adding contact@londonbarbecueschool.co.uk to your safe sender list or email whitelist. We regularly find Yahoo and AOL email services are intermittently unreliable at delivering our messages; if you have one of these and can do so, please provide us with an alternative email address.
  3. Don't panic if you try calling us and don't get through; the office is often unmanned. Email is generally a better way to contact us.
  4. If you decide to buy any barbecue equipment, consider buying it from our sister business here. As a stock-holding retail business, there is a need to be conservative about cashflow so it is only holding a small amount of stock, but most items can be obtained within a few days. And it will always try to give London Barbecue School customers the best prices they will find anywhere.
  5. If it is safe and affordable for you to do so, try to support our friends in the hospitality sector. They are taking a terrible beating at the moment, and need all the help they can get.
  6. Look after yourselves so we can all get back to what ever the new "normal" proves to be, as soon as possible.

© 2019 LONDON BARBECUE SCHOOL LIMITED
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