Yorkshire bed and breakfast owners who worked in Tesco during lockdown hope for autumn tourists

The owners of an award-winning bed and breakfast business in North Yorkshire are back at their day jobs after working at a local supermarket during lockdown to make ends meet.

Lucinda and Andrew Jenkins, who run the six-bedroom Orchard Lodge in the village of Flixton, both worked in Tesco in Scarborough for more than three months up until the reopening of their business on July 4.

Lucinda said: “We needed to support ourselves. After lockdown was announced, we applied online for jobs at 10.30am and by noon we got a call from the local Tesco. The majority of the customers were very good and very appreciative of the staff - the full-time staff do a brilliant job. We reopened Orchard Lodge on July 4, we had guests in and I finished my final shift that night.”

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Andrew and Lucinda previously worked in education before opening Orchard Lodge in April 2016 and in October 2017 their new business was named as a ‘Hidden Gem in Yorkshire’ at the Eviivo Awards. They are also on the shortlist for this year’s White Rose Awards.

Andrew and Lucinda Jenkins at Orchard Lodge Guest House, Flixton, Scarborough. Picture by Simon HulmeAndrew and Lucinda Jenkins at Orchard Lodge Guest House, Flixton, Scarborough. Picture by Simon Hulme
Andrew and Lucinda Jenkins at Orchard Lodge Guest House, Flixton, Scarborough. Picture by Simon Hulme

Lucinda said reopening has come with some challenges, with bookings for July 50 per cent down on last year. “It was very slow to start with but it is picking up now,” she said.

She said while the business has benefited from the Government’s new restrictions on travelling to destinations like Spain, the local lockdowns which have affected West Yorkshire have also raised some concerns among guests not fully familiar with the region’s geography.

“With the Government restrictions on foreign travel, staycations are picking up. We have had people last week who had been due to go to Spain but cancelled,” she said. “We had guests phoning up on Friday morning after the local lockdowns were announced to ask is it alright to come? There are no Government guidelines to say they can’t.”

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She said another challenge since reopening has been the considerable amount of extra time it now takes to deep-clean rooms and serve breakfast.

Andrew Jenkins at Orchard Lodge Guest House.Andrew Jenkins at Orchard Lodge Guest House.
Andrew Jenkins at Orchard Lodge Guest House.

After a difficult first half of 2020, she believes things can improve during the rest of the year. “We are hoping for a lovely Indian summer. A lot of our guests have the time to come last minute being retired. Tesco have said we can go back to them - so we always have that option!”

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