Recently, JD Wetherspoon announced its master plan of £ 11 million to reopen its 875 pubs within weeks after lifting the lockdown restrictions.
Since 20 March, most UK pubs have decided to temporarily close, although a few have recently been able to sell takeaway drinks.
The business, which has over 20 Sussex pubs, said it would operate again if the government formally permits them.
With pubs due to be opened again in July, Wetherspoon pubs’ customers will be advised that there should be no gatherings in large groups and their hands should be sanitized throughout their visit using the dispensers scattered all over the pubs.
They will implement one-way systems to the toilet facilities and into the bar where even the tills will be screened to safeguard the staff.
Face masks and safety eyewear are issued to the employees and a limited menu will be provided by the pub chain.
However, the 875 pubs all across the UK & Ireland will not lessen their hours of operation. The pubs would still open during their usual hours from 8 a.m. to about 1 a.m. but will start encouraging customers to purchase using their app with posters set up to tell them ‘no need to visit the bar.’
Wetherspoon boss John Hutson told reporters: “It’s essential that we’re prepared for any announcements. The health and safety of our employees and our clients are extremely important.”
The company held extensive consultations with staff and also discussed several things to all of its suppliers and distributors while making decisions based on the UK guidelines for hospitality.
Preventing Measures to Stop COVID
- Social distancing measures could mean that two full-time staff per pub will be employed, slightly more in bigger pubs, who would regularly clean up surfaces as well as all touchpoints at the pubs. These include door handles, screens for allergens info, payment cards, and handrails.
- Dedicated employees are always on hand to supervise the pubs in maintaining the social distancing guidelines, and at peak times, there will be assigned personnel at the door.
- According to the new rules, every pub has 10 hand sanitizer stations, one at the entrance in which customers can use. Those should be used by the pub customers on arrival as well as during the entire time of their visit.
- To ensure that they are prepared for work, each employee must complete and sign a routine health assessment questionnaire. It also includes the use of digital thermometers to take body temperature. The company will also provide eye protection, masks, and safety gloves, but unless the Government implements it, they are not obliged to wear them.
- All its pubs will have till screens and there will be screens for sitting areas where the tables could not be separated by two meters.
- Drinkers are urged to use the large garden areas of their pubs, but on the inside, there are screens to establish social distancing.
- To prevent the spread of the coronavirus through common ketchup, mayonnaise, and vinegar containers, they are removed and replaced by small sachets of these condiments. The usual food menu of the pubs is also eliminated.
- The pubs will have a single entrance, if possible with a different exit door, meanwhile, the entry and exit of the customer are labelled with floor stickers and barriers. Straightforward printed info is provided that gives customers guidelines when entering the pubs.
- In containing the spread of Covid-19, pub customers are also asked to use the company’s apps while ordering and paying or use contactless in the pub if possible.
- Staff would then serve all drinks while only holding the base of the pint or the wine glass and if ordered via smartphone, the drinks will be delivered to the customers on a tray to lessen the chances of the spread of the Covid-19.
- Families would be advised to keep the kids seated and always assisted even while going to the toilet.
- The meal and drinks will be served to the table by the staff of the pub.
Wetherspoon pubs usually have an average customer space of about 4,000 square feet and nearly 700 of the pubs either have a beer garden, a roof deck or terrace, or an outdoor patio seating area.
The government has confirmed that pubs in England will be reopened on 4 July at the latest if the UK reaches goals to contain the virus.