The last couple of weeks have seen the first moves towards coming out of lock down in the UK. Whilst it is still early days and baby steps, we've obviously been keeping a close eye on the developments. So, whilst we're not making any final plans until official guidance is released for our sector, we have started to make some changes and come up with ideas!
It's looking likely the Government will allow us to open our outdoor space first - with July 4 being the suggested date. We've therefore cleared a large section of unused garden to enable us to put up a marquee, which will offer some protection from the great British weather (which is bound to take a down-turn just as we get the nod!) Inside will be seating laid out at the recommended distance and our aim is to keep the sides open as much as possible to allow the flow of fresh air throughout. For those who feel the evening chill, I would bring a blanket to wrap around you!
In the rest of the garden, we have taken delivery of 12 new benches which are also set out the required distance apart.
Other measures we are looking to introduce and will confirm closer to an opening date are:
Food served in disposable (but recyclable) packaging to minimise cross contamination between staff and customers
Single-use and online menus
Single use sauce and condiment pots
A one-in-one-out system for the toilets to enable cleaning of touch points in between use
Hand sanitiser stations for customer use
Frequent and thorough cleaning of all touch points and between customer use of a table
We'll also need to make changes to our food offering - as staffing levels and the availability of supplies will vary in the early stages. Again, we'll update on this properly closer to the time, but we hope to build on the success of the takeaway options we have been offering over the past month, plus add new options.
One of the biggest changes will obviously be the difference in experience for you, our customers, in visiting the pub. By setting our seating up outside, we hope that whilst you'll need to maintain your distance from others, you will still be able to interact and re-claim some of the social elements that coming to the pub is all about. We will have to be mindful that staff do not stop to chat for too long though, as we need to be sure if anyone has visited us and later finds they have tested positive for Covid, we are not considered to have had contact with them that would require us to self-isolate under the new contact and trace system. So please don't be upset if we don't stop long to catch up or get too close! We're protecting the staff and the business, as any isolation that reduces staff dramatically or for us as owners would require us to close again :-(
It'll be a very different world, but we feel confident we can provide you with great ales, good food and a chance to get 'out-out' safely for the first time in a long time when we get the go-ahead from the powers that be! And we can't wait to see you all again!