Hospitality industry report sets out roadmap to getting pubs open

Ban on drinkers at the bar, end of the hotel buffet and no salt and pepper shakers: 75-page hospitality industry report sets out roadmap to getting restaurants and pubs open on July 4

  • The 75-page document setting out a roadmap was submitted to government by the trade group UKHospitality
  • Offers a glimpse into the future of restaurants and pubs with new social distancing under the current climate
  • The Government has now said it wants to start opening hospitality businesses across the country on July 4

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The hospitality industry has submitted a 75 page report setting out a roadmap to getting restaurants and pubs open on July 4, that includes ditching the hotel buffet and no more drinkers at the bar.

The dossier has been submitted to ministers by UKHospitality, the trade body for the industry, as reported by The Daily Telegraph

Boris Johnson revealed his lockdown blue-print last Sunday after Brits spent weeks under draconian lockdown measures on imposed by the PM on March 23. 

The Prime Minister has urged people to return to work and hoped that from June 1 schools and shops would reopen.

He also said it’s his ‘ambition’ to start opening some hospitality businesses on July 4, as the PM tries to get the economy kickstarted.

The newly-released draft plans give a glimpse of how restaurants, bars and other leisure facilities will operate as the country eases out of lockdown, and offers suggestions for how they can operate safely during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The industry has been devastated by the health crisis, with sales plummeting and many businesses still unsure if reopening with social distancing rules will be financially viable. 

This picture shows a Wetherpoon pub in south London when it was still open. The graphics show what could happen if pubs reopen in July

This picture shows a Wetherpoon pub in south London when it was still open. The graphics show what could happen if pubs reopen in July

Pubs and Restaurants 

In pubs and restaurants salt and pepper shakers will be removed from tables and instead brought to customers along with cutlery, instead of it being on the table when you sit down. 

Drinkers will also be discouraged from queuing up at the bar, and table service will be encouraged.

To prevent people not respecting social distancing guidelines there will be tape on the floor showing the appropriate distance needed.

Other options that pubs could consider is getting customers to order from one till and then collecting drinks at a separate pick up point.  

When leaving the pub or getting another drink many people will take their empty glasses back to the bar so staff don’t have to come and collect them.

But the document says that glasses should now be collected by staff.

Pubs will also have to put in place a plan for toilets to ensure they don’t become overcrowded. 

Drinkers are pictured at JJ Moon's in Tooting, south London, on March 20, the final day Wetherspoon was open nationwide

Drinkers are pictured at JJ Moon’s in Tooting, south London, on March 20, the final day Wetherspoon was open nationwide 

If pub gardens are open to take advantage of the summer weather, then patrols may have to take place to ensure big groups don’t congregate and social distancing is being kept.  

Rather than being able to grab hold of a bottle of ketchup or mustard, individually wrapped condiments will be encouraged instead. 

Any use of a menu should be limited and cleaned after use by a member of staff. 

Chairman of Wetherspoon Tim Martin previously said he was hoping to start re-opening its pubs and hotels ‘in or around June’.

He was forced to close all 900 pubs and furlough 40,000 workers before Britain went on lockdown.  

The 64-year-old said: ‘If someone offered me the opportunity now to have it under supervised conditions, I think I’d probably take it because your chances are very, very good.’

He told Sky at the time: ‘Supermarkets are very, very crowded. Pubs are much less crowded.

‘There’s hardly been any transmission of the virus within pubs and I think it’s over the top to shut them. That’s a commercial view but also a common sense view.’

He claimed that a nationwide shutdown was ‘draconian’ and that it didn’t offer ‘health benefits’.

Mr Martin had hoped he could get away with introducing social distancing in his pubs, with a ‘regulars only’ policy in some.

An empty beer garden at the Greene King Stag and Hounds pub in Farnham Common during the coronavirus lockdown

An empty beer garden at the Greene King Stag and Hounds pub in Farnham Common during the coronavirus lockdown

He said that people would be able to keep their distance more easily as footfall dropped with some unable to leave the house due to underlying health conditions.

Rival pub chain Greene King has previously said it wants to open beer gardens and customers will be able to order from an app.

Chief executive Nick McKenzie said customers would not be allowed in the pub in order to keep to social distancing guidelines. 

The British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin previously said: ‘Re-opening in July will be great for those pubs who can meet the social-distancing measures required by then.

‘We stand ready to work with the Government to help pubs re-open in a safe and financially viable way as soon as possible.’ 

Environment Secretary George Eustice has said he hopes that pubs can return imminently, if they are able to abide by social distancing guidelines.

Mr Eustice told the Commons: ‘Of course we also recognise that until things return to something closer to normal and they can open normally, hopefully later this summer, then it will not give them all of the trade they previously had.’ 

Hotels

A warm handshake from a hotel owner or bed and breakfast host could well become a thing of the past.

Instead staff will be encouraged to greet guests in a way that abides by social distancing guidelines. 

At hotels, hotels buffets will be strongly discouraged, meaning breakfast self-service available in thousands of hotels across the country will be ditched.

Guests who want to use the gym or any spa facilities will be encouraged to use their rooms to prevent overcrowding in changing rooms.

Similar rules for eating and drinking apply would apply at hotels, as would apply at restaurants and bars.

In terms of room-service staff will be encouraged to knock on the door and leave the tray outside, rather than engage with the customer. 

Rooms keys will also have to be regularly disinfected and staff will have to keep a social distance if they help guests with luggage. 

There will be no queueing and table service or apps will be prioritised to ensure social distancing.

Any outdoor areas would have to be regularly patrolled and queues at the front desks would have to be managed. 

The hotel industry has been severely hit like many operators, with a number of them now housing homeless people during the pandemic.

Keith Barr, chief executive of IHG, which owns the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands said hotels must make ‘visible’ changes to hygiene standards to encourage customers to come back.

He also said the company was trialling electostatic sprayers and removing standard guest room items, such as a pen and paper.

Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms are quarantined at hotels in Tokyo staffed by robots. Five hotels are around the city are using robots to help limit the spread, one being the world's first social humanoid Pepper (left)

Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms are quarantined at hotels in Tokyo staffed by robots. Five hotels are around the city are using robots to help limit the spread, one being the world’s first social humanoid Pepper (left)

Mr Barr told the Financial Times:  ‘Covid-19 represents the most significant challenge both IHG and our industry have ever faced,’ he said after the company’s first-quarter update on Thursday.

This week other industry bosses also spoke about the importance of hygiene standards to lure customers back to an industry that has been a huge fall in sales. 

At an industry event early this week the chief executive of Radisson Hotel Group Federico J González, said the industry should have a united approach to cleaning and hygiene.

Speaking on a panel session as part of an In Sync virtual event, he said: ‘Giving the consumer a common reference is one of the things that if the industry fails at doing it, we will pay for it. 

‘Stars mean nothing to today’s consumers because every different region has classified this in a different way… [they need] a reference they truly understand.’

And David Kong of BWH Hotel Group said cleanliness will become ‘the most important element of why someone would pick a hotel’, as reported by The Caterer.

Amusement Parks    

At theme parks, capacity on roller coasters and other rides could be reduced by leaving middle seats empty if visitors are riding from different groups.

Amusement parks and other family entertainment sites may be forced to cancel character shows, concerts and end of day parades to ensure compliance with potential social distancing rules. 

Queues for specific rides will have to abide by social distancing measures which means there could be less capacity on certain rides.

Getting food and drink at the various eateries at an attraction will also have to abide by social distancing guidelines. 

In an update to guests this week Alton Towers said it was taking advice from theme parks around the world about when to open safely. 

In an announcement on Monday the resort said: ‘Since the Resort closed, we’ve been working tirelessly to make sure that when it is safe to reopen we are absolutely ready to welcome you back.

‘We’ve been taking advice from colleagues across the globe on how best to reopen in line with new safety guidelines.

‘From enhanced cleaning regimes to social distancing measures, we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure that you have a brilliant, safe, visit.

Shanghai Disneyland sets up social distancing queues ready for the reopening of the attraction amid the coronavirus pandemic

Shanghai Disneyland sets up social distancing queues ready for the reopening of the attraction amid the coronavirus pandemic

‘We’ll be sharing our plans for reopening soon. For now we’re asking guests with short breaks booked June 1 and July 3 to visit altontowers.com to find out how to move your booking. 

‘In our 40th Birthday season, we’re determined to be here for you and your families, offering fun, thrills and fantastic memories, as we have done for decades and will continue to do for many more.

‘Please keep smiling, clapping and supporting each other. See you soon.’ 

Kate Nicholls, the body’s chief executive, told the newspaper: ‘We will be ready to restart in England on July 4, and other parts of the country when allowed, but it’s vital that reopening is done in the right way, at the right time and with the right support – so that our industry can help bring employees, customers and communities back together safely over the coming months.

‘The summer is a crucial time for the sector. The great British public deserve safe accommodation, eating and drinking out experiences, holidays and leisure time; the financial cost is a justified investment in our nation’s well-being and the future of the economy.’

Britain sneaks back to the pub! Smart-thinking landlords find ways around lockdown rules to serve cold takeaway pints to thirsty punters – including Laurence Fox – despite bars not opening officially until July 

By Luke May for MailOnline

Britain’s pubs may be weeks away from officially reopening after the coronavirus lockdown, but smart-thinking landlords are finding ways around the rules to serve up pints to thirsty punters.

Over the weekend Brighton saw long queues of visitors queuing up for a pint, nearly two months after pubs and bars were closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

But with lockdown measures eased, businesses are serving up drinks by serving them either in takeaway cups or in outdoor areas – just in time for hottest day of the year so far. 

Actor Laurence Fox is among the Brits to take advantage of the loophole, he was spotted nursing a pint in Primrose Hill, London, on Monday.

Actor Laurence Fox enjoyed a takeaway pint in Primrose Hill, London on Monday as landlords find ways around lockdown rules

Actor Laurence Fox enjoyed a takeaway pint in Primrose Hill, London on Monday as landlords find ways around lockdown rules 

Visitors to Brighton beach are among thousands across the country taking advantage of takeaway pints during this week's heatwave

Visitors to Brighton beach are among thousands across the country taking advantage of takeaway pints during this week’s heatwave 

The Old King's Head in Shoreditch is serving up takeaway pints to thirsty customers today

The Old King’s Head in Shoreditch is serving up takeaway pints to thirsty customers today 

Visitors along Brighton beach can be seen carrying pints in plastic cups, while punters were queuing outside the Old King’s Head in Shoreditch on Wednesday afternoon for a drink on the hottest day of the year – with temperatures reaching 82F. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the hospitality industry after weeks of lockdown caused sales to plummet and left many businesses facing uncertain futures.

Today UKHospitality, the trade body for the industry, has submitted a 75-page dossier that sets out a roadmap to getting restaurants and pubs open on July 4, that includes ditching the hotel buffet and no more drinkers at the bar.

The dossier has been submitted to ministers, according to The Daily Telegraph

Boris Johnson revealed his lockdown blue-print last Sunday after Brits spent weeks under draconian lockdown measures on imposed by the PM on March 23.  

The Prime Minister has urged people to return to work and hoped that from June 1 schools and shops would reopen.

He also said it’s his ‘ambition’ to start opening some hospitality businesses on July 4, as the PM tries to get the economy kickstarted.

A woman wears a face visor as she carries a tray of drinks at The Althorp in Wandsworth Common as temperatures beings to rise

A woman wears a face visor as she carries a tray of drinks at The Althorp in Wandsworth Common as temperatures beings to rise

Two people sit on the grass close to The Althorp pub in Wandsworth Common and enjoy beverages on a sunny day

Two people sit on the grass close to The Althorp pub in Wandsworth Common and enjoy beverages on a sunny day 

A group of friends take to London Fields, in north east London on May 20, as temperatures across the country continue to rise

A group of friends take to London Fields, in north east London on May 20, as temperatures across the country continue to rise

The newly-released draft plans give a glimpse of how restaurants, bars and other leisure facilities will operate as the country eases out of lockdown, and offers suggestions for how they can operate safely during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The industry has been devastated by the health crisis, with sales plummeting and many businesses still unsure if reopening with social distancing rules will be financially viable. 

If pub gardens are open to take advantage of the summer weather, then patrols may have to take place to ensure big groups don’t congregate and social distancing is being kept. 

A group of friends sit in Wandsworth Common and enjoy their drinks despite the social distancing measures still in place

A group of friends sit in Wandsworth Common and enjoy their drinks despite the social distancing measures still in place

As lockdown measures begins to ease, revellers are seen taking to the outdoors near Wandsworth Common and enjoy a pint

As lockdown measures begins to ease, revellers are seen taking to the outdoors near Wandsworth Common and enjoy a pint

Takeaway pints are the best Brighton punters can get today, but the hospitality industry hopes pubs and restaurants will be open with new social distancing measures on July 4

Takeaway pints are the best Brighton punters can get today, but the hospitality industry hopes pubs and restaurants will be open with new social distancing measures on July 4

A group of men walk topless and carry beers as Britain enjoys the weather on Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic

A group of men walk topless and carry beers as Britain enjoys the weather on Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic

A man in Bournemouth walks bare-foot as he carries a beer and a small drink

There were long queues for a beer in Brighton on Sunday

A man in Bournemouth walks bare-foot as he carries a beer and a small drink while a long queue forms outside a bar on Brighton beach

As temperatures continue to soar across the country, two men enjoyed a pint near the The Althorp in Wandsworth Common

As temperatures continue to soar across the country, two men enjoyed a pint near the The Althorp in Wandsworth Common

Two sunbathers sat on the grass in Wandsworth Common today as hundreds of people decided to leave their homes to bask in the sunshine

Two sunbathers sat on the grass in Wandsworth Common today as hundreds of people decided to leave their homes to bask in the sunshine

Rather than being able to grab hold of a bottle of ketchup or mustard, individually wrapped condiments will be encouraged instead. 

Any use of a menu should be limited and cleaned after use by a member of staff. 

The dossier released today explained how drinkers will be discouraged from queuing up at bars, with table service encouraged instead.

Tape on the floor will indicate social distancing guidelines.

Other options that pubs could consider is getting customers to order from one till and then collecting drinks at a separate pick up point.  

When leaving the pub or getting another drink many people will take their empty glasses back to the bar so staff don’t have to come and collect them.

As the R rate falls, more businesses will be able to reopen, Boris Johnson explained on May 10

As the R rate falls, more businesses will be able to reopen, Boris Johnson explained on May 10 

But the document says that glasses should now be collected by staff.

Pubs will also have to put in place a plan for toilets to ensure they don’t become overcrowded. 

Easing lockdown measures earlier this month, Mr Johnson said some parts of the hospitality industry could reopen by July ‘at the earliest,’ if coronavirus infection rates declined to a safe level.

The PM said on May 10: ‘If and only if the numbers support it, we will hope to reopen at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.’

A gentleman grabs a couple of cold beers in Bournemouth at a bar selling take away beers as temperatures continue to soar

A gentleman grabs a couple of cold beers in Bournemouth at a bar selling take away beers as temperatures continue to soar

A group of young people queue up at a Bournemouth bar to grab a beer in the hot and sunny weather today

A group of young people queue up at a Bournemouth bar to grab a beer in the hot and sunny weather today

A group of people seemed to ignore social distancing rules as they waited for a take away beer on a sunny afternoon on the south coast

A group of people seemed to ignore social distancing rules as they waited for a take away beer on a sunny afternoon on the south coast

Premises have been allowed to operate take-away services during the lockdown in an attempt to keep businesses afloat. 

A Whitehall source told The Telegraph that adopting outdoor business could mean a ‘more vibrant style of continental town centres in the summer’. 

Professor Alan Penn, a member of SAGE, the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, reassured that those venturing outdoors that the risk of catching the virus outside is lower.

He said: ‘The science suggests that being outside in sunlight, with good ventilation, are both highly protective against transmission of the virus.’

Other scientists say they ‘totally agree’ with Professor Penn and advocate spending more time outdoors, where the virus is less likely to survive. 

Earlier today it was revealed up to 1,500 English primary schools are now expected to remain closed in 12 days’ time despite millions of children being at home for more than eight weeks. 

At least 13 mainly Labour councils have refused to reopen schools on June 1, a date Boris Johnson set for some pupils to return after weeks in lockdown.

Justice Minister Robert Buckland admitted this morning that the June 1 reopening date may now not be ‘uniform’ across England – as the Prime Minister’s pledge descended into chaos amid mass dissension from school staff, unions and local councils.   

Mr Buckland told the BBC: ‘I don’t think any of us want to put either children or our dedicated teaching staff in any danger at all, and the question of being safe is clearly paramount. 

‘So we’re all working towards June 1 and planning for that return, but I accept the point that there may well be issues from employers that need to be addressed which might not mean we’ll see a uniform approach on June 1.

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