Beshoff Bros closing shops after footage emerges of long queues

Fish-and-chips chain says it attempted to ensure social distancing on Sunday

Footage of the queue outside Beshoff Bros in Howth on Sunday. Image: Screengrab of Twitter video

Footage of the queue outside Beshoff Bros in Howth on Sunday. Image: Screengrab of Twitter video

 

Fish-and-chip shop chain Beshoff Bros has announced that it is closing all its stores with immediate effect after footage showed customers were not following social distancing guidelines outside its shop in Howth on Sunday.

Video and photographs appeared on social media showing long queues of customers who did not appear to be adhering to guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19.

The World Health Organisation and the HSE have urged people to leave at least 2m between themselves and others while avoiding crowded places.

One person on Twitter posted video footage from his car showing the lines of people. “Q for fish and chips in Howth. Absolutely disgraceful. And then we wonder why people are getting sick.”

Beshoff Bros general manager Bridget Starbuck said staff in its Howth premises had attempted to introduce social distancing measures by letting only one person at a time into the shop.

“The amount of abuse we have been getting since last night has been disheartening,” she told The Irish Times.

“It’s incredibly difficult because the staff did not want to go out and talk to people who were shouting abuse back.

“We had marked the areas where people had to stand. They had to stand behind yellow lines. If I look at our own cameras, people were keeping their distances.

“I don’t think we should be targeted. I don’t think it is right when the beaches and everything else was full.”

Ms Starbuck added: “We never saw a sign of one single guard yesterday at all. There was no sign. Why didn’t they close Howth off if Howth was so busy?”

Ms Starbuck said that if the Government wanted takeaways such as theirs to close down, it should say so. However: “It is not fair if we close and other people are open.”

In a statement on its social media accounts issued on Monday morning, Beshoff Bros said it has been an “incredibly difficult time for all of our staff”.

“We wanted to thank all of our staff who have been working hard to try and provide for our local communities and we’d like to thank our customers for their support during this difficult time.

“We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy and we hope to open our doors to you all very soon.”

Customers will instead be able to order for delivery through Uber Eats or beshoffbros.orderyoyo.com.