LONDON — At the Crooked Well, a neighborhood pub in south London that prides itself on its food, the Christmas menu is already decided. There will be venison and beef stews. But whether the stews will actually be served is another question.
Under a new lockdown planned to last a month, pubs in England have closed again. From Nov. 5 to Dec. 2, restaurants, gyms and nonessential shops are being shuttered as part of a government effort to suppress a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Britain’s first lockdown lasted more than three months, followed by an ever-changing array of restrictions since. No one knows how long this lockdown will really last.
The two nights before the lockdown took hold, “we were crazy busy, it was like the whole of London was out,” said Hector Skinner, one of the owners and the manager of the Crooked Well. “Now, I don’t know. I really don’t know. I feel like it’s going to go on for longer.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to sell the new lockdown to pandemic-weary Britons by saying it would, hopefully, allow families to be together over the holidays. But, he conceded, “Christmas is going to be different this year, very different.”
And that’s the problem for the hospitality industry, which fears losing out on a crucial month. Some 20 to 30 percent of a year’s revenue is made around Christmas and the holidays, according to the British Beer and Pub Association. At the Crooked Well, a good week in December would bring in double the best week in the summer.
If pubs can’t reopen in December, “then these businesses won’t survive January and February, which are like graveyard months for us,” said Emma McClarkin, the chief executive of the industry trade group, which represents about 20,000 pubs.
WeWork released financial data Thursday that offered a bleak view of how office buildings in big cities — and co-working spaces, in particular — are faring during the coronavirus pandemic.
The company’s revenue was $811 million in the third quarter, down roughly 26 percent from the first quarter and 8 percent from the second quarter, WeWork’s chief executive, Sandeep Mathrani, and chief financial officer, Benjamin Dunham, said in an email to employees.
WeWork, a private company, did not release comprehensive financial statements. For example, the email did not say how much money the company made or lost in the third quarter.
WeWork leases space in office buildings and then charges freelancers, start-ups and large companies to use it. Its leaders once said the company would revolutionize how people worked, but its breakneck growth led it to the brink of financial collapse last year, forcing the company to withdraw an initial public offering and accept a bail out from SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate and its largest shareholder.
As tens of millions people work from home during the pandemic, many of WeWork’s customers have let their memberships lapse. The executives said the company had 542,000 memberships at the end of the third quarter, down 11 percent from 612,000 at the end of the second quarter.
The executives said there were some signs of improvement. “Gross desk sales,” a measure of new space rentals that does not include departing customers, were 8 percent higher in the third quarter compared with the second quarter.
SoftBank has poured billions of dollars into the company to keep it going. In the third quarter, the executives said “free cash flow,” a term they didn’t define but typically describes how much cash a business took in or spent in a given period of time, was negative $517 million. That’s an improvement from the second quarter, when free cash flow was negative $671 million. The company had cash and commitments from investors or lenders to provide cash of $3.6 billion at the end of the third quarter, down from $4.1 billion at the end of the second quarter.
Because of agreements struck months ago, WeWork is still expanding. It had 859 locations in 151 cities in the third quarter, up from 843 locations in the second quarter. The company has been trying to renegotiate agreements with landlords and, as of September, had reached deals to leave 66 locations, Mr. Mathrani and Mr. Dunham said.