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Brave New (socially distanced) World!

Thursday, July 16, 2020


Our Marketing Manager shares his thoughts from the first 10 days of pubs and restaurants reopening, and how businesses and customers have had to adapt.

“Where shall we eat tonight?”

A conversation many of us have been eager to have, and since 4th July we have been able to… with caveats of course.

The two-metre distancing rule may have been relaxed to one-metre plus, but there are still many other restrictions and guidelines that pubs and restaurants need to adhere to, to keep customers and staff safe.

So what does a visit to the local pub or restaurant look like now?

The ‘New Normal’ starts before you even get to the pub, and by that we mean, be prepared to book a table in advance, even for the pub. Not all are requiring this but it’s definitely worth checking before you turn up expecting to get in.

On arrival, you will most likely be met by FOH and shown to your table via their one-way system. Keep your eyes peeled for the yellow and black tape, sanitising stations and abundance of signage reminding you to stay safe, wash your hands and keep your distance.

Many establishments have turned to technology to help them keep their staff and customers safe by introducing digital ordering and payment apps to minimise contact between staff and customers and to prevent any need for queuing at the bar or tills.

These ordering apps can also help establishments keep a record of customers, in line with the government's Track and Trace programme. Only basic details need to be taken (ie. name and phone or email) from one member in the party and these details should only be kept for 21 days.

Indoor seating will be reduced to make sure that tables are far enough apart and many businesses will be looking to utilise their outdoor space more. So fingers crossed for a warm, sunny Summer!

The changes that any pub, restaurant or cafe are having to implement are immense, and should not be understated. Many of these businesses have worked tirelessly to make sure that even the quickest trip out for a pint with a friend is as safe (but still as enjoyable) as it can be.

Speaking personally, my small local country pub, which seated around 50 before the epidemic not seats just 16 inside. They have installed screens around the bar, taped-off walkways and a one-way system, and posted countless signs on walls and doors. They have had to purchase more outdoor seating and have used some of their car park as extra outdoor space, and have had to re-write all of their safety policies. This pub isn’t part of a chain, it is owned by a local and run by a family that lives there, and is the only pub in the small village and as a local community we will carry on supporting it and hopefully, it will survive.

This is just one pub in one small village. Scenes like this are happening all over the UK, in every city, town, village and street. This is happening to large chain restaurants, small independents, family-run businesses, pub chains, village pubs.

They have done the hard work to make sure we are safe, now it’s our turn to do our part and start using them again.

Have you visited a pub or restaurants since the 4th of July?
How was your experience? We'd love to hear about it.

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