Wetherspoons, who operate two flagship venues in the Lytham St. Anne’s area, has announced that it is investing an initial £11 million to ensure that its staff and customers are safe when its 875 pubs reopen. The chain is looking forward to reopening as soon as the Government gives the go ahead.
They will be ready to welcome customers back during be usual opening hours, which on average is 8am to midnight (Sunday to Thursday) and 8am to 1am (Friday and Saturday). The pubs will use one entrance with a separate exit door where possible. 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.
Once inside, there will be screens at the till points. Customers will be asked 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 be trained to hand over all 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. However, the pubs will also offer a slightly reduced menu and will provide sachets (ketchup, mayonnaise, salt pepper etc), rather than their usual condiment bottles.
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 the pub, including at the entrance for customers and staff to use.
Dedicated staff will monitor the pub at all times in order to maintain social distancing standards and there will be a member of staff on the door at peak times. Each pub will have a member of staff working full time to sanitise all the contact points during opening hours. These will include door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.
Wetherspoons say that all staff will receive a full briefing and training on the new way of running the pubs. Gloves, masks and protective eyewear will be provided. However, employees can elect whether to wear them or not, subject to government guidelines. 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.