Written by: Trade Interchange

Posted on: 03/07/20

Trade Interchange Comment: Foodservice & Hospitality Reopening

After the UK Government announced sweeping changes to England’s lockdown last week, pubs, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality venues are among those which will be allowed to reopen from tomorrow.

Guidance has been provided to foodservice and hospitality businesses to ensure that the reopening process is as safe as it possibly can be, including advice to reconfigure seating arrangements, stagger customer arrivals, cancel any live acts and minimise customer self-service.

Pubs, bars, and restaurants will open with table service being provided to customers who are situated indoors, and owners have been asked to keep customer contact details to assist with the contact tracing program.

Meanwhile, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campsites will also be opening, but shared facilities must be cleaned properly and regularly.

Additionally, customers will be urged to book in advance, place their orders either online or through apps, and they will also be asked to not lean on any counters in the premises.

Despite these measures being implemented, there will also be a sense of joy that the hospitality industry is opening its doors to customers once again – from those in the industry and also from customers.

The UK Government also announced that the two-metre social-distancing rule will, from tomorrow, be replaced with a “one-metre plus” rule in England. This will make a massive difference for small and large hospitality businesses in terms of potential profitability, and they will have been able to plan for tomorrow with all necessary safety measures in place.

Restaurants, pubs, and bars will be able to welcome seated guests for the first time since the beginning of lockdown. Not only will this provide some much needed financial relief for foodservice and hospitality businesses, but it could also provide a sense of a return to normality for customers who have missed meeting up with friends and family – outside of video conferencing software, that is.

The reopening of the hospitality sector has been long-awaited by many across the country, albeit with an understanding as to why their closure has been a necessity in the battle against COVID-19. There will undoubtedly be an adjustment period as customers and employees alike adjust to the safety measures, but it also provides an opportunity for businesses to be creative and innovate as we approach a return to normality.

There is no doubt that has been a challenging period for us all, including our friends in the foodservice and hospitality sectors, but from tomorrow, we will hopefully sense a return to normality as pubs, restaurants, and hotels once again begin to welcome customers through their doors.

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