JD Wetherspoon which operates several local pubs has revealed plans of how it aims to open outlets safely once the government gives the go ahead.
Everyone’s looking forward to the day we can return to local bars but things are certainly going to be different with screens, extra sanitising measures and the pubs will use one entrance with a separate exit door where possible.
The company has The College Arms on Broadway and The Draper’s Arms in Cowgate in Peterborough, as well as the Ivy Wall in New Road, Spalding, The George Hotel in Market Place, Whittlesey, and The Stamford Post on Sheep Market in Stamford and has drawn up plans to ensure staff and customers are safe before its pubs reopen.
Christopher Parkes, manager at The Draper’s Arms, which had seen an extensive refurbishment just prior to lockdown said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs.
“However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.
“We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans.
“The safety of staff and customers is paramount.”
The Draper’s Arms now boasts a new terrace and outside drinking area which had just been launched as the coronovirus closure struck.
It’s now been several weeks since the pubs were shut and JD Wetherspoon has been consulting staff along with many of its suppliers and contractors, as well as referring to UK Hospitality guidelines to make a plan.
These are the measures JD Wetherpsoon plan to introduce once allowed to welcome back customers:
- Social distancing measures will result in the employment of two full time staff per pub, slightly more for bigger pubs, who will regularly clean surfaces and touch points throughout the pubs.
- All pubs will have screens at the till point and there will also be screens to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate the tables to the social distancing requirement.
- There will be an average ten hand sanitiser dispensers around each pub, including at the entrance for customers and staff to use.
- Dedicated staff will monitor the pubs at all times in order to maintain social distancing standards and there will be a member of staff on the door at peak times.
- Customer entry and exit will be marked out by floor stickers and/or barriers and there will be clear printed information providing guidance to customers as they enter the pubs.
- Each pub will have a member of staff working full time (two staff per pub to cover all opening hours) to sanitise all the contact points during opening hours. These will include door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.
The pub company also says it’s taking staff safety extremely seriously and all staff will receive a full briefing and training on the new way of running the pubs. Every employee will need to complete and sign a daily health assessment questionnaire to confirm that they are fit to work. This will include having their temperature taken using a digital thermometer.
Staff will be provided gloves, masks and protective eyewear which they can elect whether to wear or not, subject to government guidelines.
When it comes to paying they’ll be asking you to use the Wetherspoon order and pay app, wherever possible, or pay at the bar using a credit/debit card and contactless, although cash will be accepted.
Staff will hand over your drinks holding the base of the glass and when ordered by the app they will be delivered to the table on a tray and placed on the table using the base of the glass.
Food will be delivered to the table by a member of floor staff. The pubs will also offer a slightly reduced menu and will provide sachets (ketchup, mayonnaise, salt pepper etc), rather than their usual condiment bottles.
They will be open their usual opening hours, but only once the government gives the go ahead.
Photos: Mike Harris and Pep Cipriano