A PUB in the heart of Buckinghamshire community announced it was forced to cut back on its kitchen hours.

The Griffin in Chesham told its fans and customers on January 16 that the pub had no choice but to reduce the hours it was serving food due to the increased costs and reduced demand this time of the year.

The landlady Pat Miller, who runs the pub with her husband Steve, said the temporary decision to close the kitchen during the week was brought by “increasing cost of gas, electric, and the breweries are putting the price of beer up."

"Breweries are in the same boat as anybody and everybody.

“Once everybody gets that increasing cost it has a knock-on effect. The normal man would come out for a beer after work, but his gas bills have gone up maybe by half. Whereas he may have come out for four pints, he can’t afford that now.

“January is always a tough time of the year for any publican. And for everybody,” she added.  

Many people are more careful about spending in January after the festive period, pay days were early before Christmas, while some are waiting for their credit card bills to come through, Pat explained. 

For the next couple of weeks, food will be served only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while drinks will be served business as usual throughout the week.

Pat clarified The Griffin was not closing down, and no staff hours were affected, as the pub team, Steve and herself ran the kitchen together. 

“At the moment, nobody’s coming out to dine early week.”

But the set-up in the pub’s kitchen means if the industrial-style fan is not switched on, the gas supply won’t come on.

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To serve food during the day at lunch time and dinner, the costly fan needs to be switched on for six hours in total, which is a big cost - especially when there are no diners. 

“We’re going to do it like this for a couple of weeks, and see how it goes.”

Resourceful Pat, who’s been at the helm of The Griffin since June 1999, is thinking of bringing back cold snacks kept in the refrigerator, such as sandwiches. ‘

“At the moment, as things are, and it’s not just me, cost of living at the moment, and people are feeling the pinch. It’s especially this month.”

Getting support from residents in social media groups like OurChesham made Pat feel “very comfortable to see that people are out there who know me and have known me for a very long time.”

“I don’t do things by half, and I take a long time to say ‘we’ve got to do something.’”

“I’d have turned off all my has and heating for everybody to come into, but if I haven’t got those people at the moment coming because they can’t afford to, I know each and every one of my customers understands the reasons we’ve had to do it,” she added.