Return to office brings contrasting fortunes in Manchester and London

  • Thread starter Hibaq Farah and Joanna Partridge
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Hibaq Farah and Joanna Partridge

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In the north-west many businesses are yet to notice a jump in trade, but in the capital it feels much busier


Before the pandemic, the queues outside Café Istanbul in Manchester city centre would be out of the door. Eighteen months later, business is still quiet. “Even now, with people returning to the office, it is not like what it was before,” said Muzaffer Karanal, the head chef at one of the city’s oldest independent restaurants.

As pupils return to school and offices slowly reopen, most businesses around the city centre have not had the mass return of customers they were hoping for after Covid measures were lifted. Karanal is hoping that the easing of travel restrictions will result in the return of packed lunchtimes during which his restaurant “never stopped”.

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