Pre-booking. Perspex screens. Pub hosts. How Greene King's pubs will operate post lockdown

By Finn Scott-Delany

- Last updated on GMT

Pre-booking Perspex screens hosts how pubs will look after lockdown Greene King Coronavirus

Related tags Pub Restaurant lockdown Greene king Coronavirus

Greene King has unveiled details of how its pubs will look and operate ahead of them re-opening, under its set of ‘Pub Safe’ promises.

All of the group's 1,700 managed pubs will follow the guidelines, designed to look after team members and ensure customers can socialise safely.

Based around hygiene and safety, the pledges cover safe socialising and layout, care of its teams, minimising contact, hand sanitising and hygiene, and ‘Pub Safe’ monitor to ensure these are upheld.

Tables will be spaced out further in-line with any government guidelines and customers will be encouraged to pre-book a table rather than stand at the bar.

The bar service area will have perspex screens and screening will be positioned between booths where necessary.

There will be new one-in-one-out red and green indicators at the entrances to the toilets so customers can flip the indicator with their elbow as they enter and exit, with toilets cleaned every 15 minutes.

As part of its commitment to keep team members safe Greene King has invested £15m in Pub Safe related measures for a phased reopening, including protective measures for teams and customers.

Teams are undergoing comprehensive training ahead of reopening and will be temperature checked ahead of every shift.

Investment is also being made in additional team members to keep hygiene standards high.

As part of its pledge to minimise contact between team members and customers, Greene King is rolling out its Order and Pay app, ahead of schedule, to all its managed pubs. Customers will be encouraged to download it and place food and drink orders from the comfort of their table, paying contactless via the app.

The pubs will provide one-time-use menus that customers can take away or be disposed of in a sustainable way at the pub, cutlery will be wrapped and condiments in sachets or in fresh ramekins.

A pub host will be on hand at the entrance of the pub to welcome each customer, show them to their table and manage queues.

Customers will be asked to use the hand sanitiser stations at the entrance on arrival and utilise the many stations placed in key positions during their visit.

The fifth pledge by Greene King is that every pub will have its own dedicated Pub Safe Monitor, a team member, easily identifiable by their uniform, with the responsibility of ensuring that additional cleaning of tables and public space is done swiftly and efficiently. The monitor will also be the clear point of contact for any customer or team member who wishes to raise a concern.

In return, Greene King is asking its customers to follow the safe socialising measures in place, respect its teams as they keep everyone safe, help minimise contact by using the Greene King app to order and pay, maintain personal hand hygiene whilst in the pub and let the Pub Safe Monitor know if they have any concerns.

 “We can’t wait to welcome our customers back to our pubs and we know people are eager to return to their local. The safety of our customers and team members is always our number one priority and against the backdrop of a slow recovery from COVID-19, we are investing to put in place all the necessary arrangements," says Nick Mackenzie, Greene King CEO.

"Of course, customers will notice some differences when they return but it’s important that alongside implementing the changes, we maintain the very essence of the great British pub.”

“Many pubs across the country, including a number of our own, will not be financially viable or able to open for operational reasons with the current restrictions in place and we hope that, for the future of our industry, these measures will be short-lived.

“We are working towards a phased re-opening and are planning to open as many as we can. However, the future of our industry is reliant on continued support from government and reducing social distancing from two metres to one would make it possible for many more pubs across the country to be viable.”

Meanwhile, Greene King is making a £250 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit available to leased and tenanted pub partners for reopening.

The kit includes face masks, visors, gloves, and hand sanitiser gel.

Each pub has also been offered £120 of coronavirus signs for pub gardens and interiors, plus free online training courses covering Covid-19 topics such as service after lockdown and personal protection.

Since pubs closed, Greene King has provided approximately £11m in rent concessions as well as investing around £4m in support for its partners.

Greene King Pub Partners managing director Wayne Shurvinton said: “We wanted to make this additional £250,000 PPE investment as it’s the right thing to do for our partners, to give them the best platform possible to recover their business during this hugely challenging time for us all.

“We know there is no better investment we can make right now than backing our partners to succeed and this has been at the forefront of our minds throughout.

“I’m pleased that we can offer this next step of support for reopening, backing up our 90% rent discount for the first four weeks of reopening and 50% for the following four weeks, as well as discounts on casks and kegs as well.”

The PPE kits will be posted to pubs from 29 June ahead of reopening, with the earliest pubs can legally reopen currently scheduled for 4 July by the government.

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