The Caterer

Oakman Inns develops blueprint for how pubs can open under social distancing

18 May 2020 by
Oakman Inns develops blueprint for how pubs can open under social distancing

Oakman Inns has developed a blueprint for how pubs could operate within social distancing guidelines by using screens to create snugs, installing hand sanitising stations and operating a one-way system.

The independent group, which has 25 UK pubs, converted the Betsey Wynne in Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire, to demonstrate how pubs could operate in accordance with guidelines.

The measures included a one-way system that would see guests arrive through one door and exit via another, disposable menus and an app to allow at-table ordering, a number of hand sanitising stations and branded screens to allow couples and small groups to separate themselves from one another.

In the kitchen facemasks would be used to keep staff safe.

Chief executive and founder Peter Borg-Neal, who received the Pub and Bar Award at the 2018 Cateys, has submitted the blueprint to government, urging it to produce guidelines and allow the industry to reopen in line with them.

The pub chief has said that the blueprint will only be achievable in larger properties – the Betsey Wynne would normally fit 204 people, reduced to 146 with social distancing. It would also be able to use outdoor space, which will be particularly useful as venues work towards reopening.

The government announced last week that some hospitality businesses will be able to at least partially reopen in July, if the spread of coronavirus is kept under control.

Those businesses allowed to open will have to have social distancing measures in place, the full details of which are expected to be published in the coming weeks.

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