A SOUTHAMPTON restaurant owner has been fined £1,000 after he hosted a "taste-test" for his new menu.

It comes after police spotted a number of people drinking and socialising in the Cattle Steakhouse at Hanover Buildings.

As police were about to enter, five people ran through the back of the restaurant.

The 37-year-old owner claimed the people had been there to taste-test and provide feedback on his new menu.


He was reported for summons in relation to a £1,000 fixed penalty notice for a "blatant breach" of regulations.

A 20-year-old woman was also reported for summons in relation to a £200 fixed penalty notice for the breach.

The incident happened at around 10.15pm on January 24.

Officers are now working with Southampton City Council to review the restaurant's licence.

PC Mark Hawley from the force’s licensing team said: “During the current national lockdown this blatant disregard for the current Health Protection Regulations is concerning.

"We are working hard to ensure that everyone is observing the restrictions in place and is safe during the pandemic.

“Situations like this could put everyone who was there at risk, along with their loved ones, and anyone else they come into contact with.

"We hope this sends a message to other businesses that breaching the regulations will be dealt with robustly to ensure everyone’s safety”.