Mirror Online: UK May 22, 2020 – Britain’s most prominent pub chain has spoken out on how branches will operate after lockdown, with temperature checks on arrival and hundreds more workers set to be hired.
It comes as ministers remain in talks over how the hospitality sector will bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown, with businesses set to reopen in July, at the earliest.
JD Wetherspoon bosses said branches will offer a slightly reduced menu, while all workers will be handed facemasks and protective eyewear, when pubs reopen.
A total of £11million will be invested to introduce safety screens at counters – while two new full time workers will be hired per branch.
The company said it will open its 875 pubs across the UK and Republic of Ireland, when it has the official green light from the relevant governments.
Under the changes, all Wetherspoons pubs will have screens fitted at the till point, while customers will be encouraged to pay via its smartphone app.
There will also be screens to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate the tables to the social distancing requirement.
Wetherspoon will also provide staff with gloves, masks and protective eyewear, which will be made compulsory, subject to government guidelines.
There will be an average 10 hand sanitiser dispensers around each pub, including at the entrance for customers and staff to use. Guests will be asked to use them when entering stores.
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.
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.
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.
Each pub will have a member of staff working full time (two or more staff per pub to cover all opening hours) to sanitise all the contact points during opening hours.
These will include door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.
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 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 down using the base of the glass.
Food will be delivered to the table by a member of floor staff.
The pubs will also offer a slightly reduced menu and will provide sachets for ketchup, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, rather than their usual condiment bottles.
Usual opening hours will apply, which, on average is 8am to midnight (Sunday to Thursday) and 8am to 1am (Friday and Saturday).
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs.
“However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.