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Tue, 26 May 2020

Wetherspoon Unveils Social Distancing and Hygiene Plans for 875 Pubs

JD Wetherspoon has said that it will invest 11 million to ensure that its staff and customers are safe before its pubs reopen.

The company has 875 pubs in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

As the company awaits the green light for pubs to reopen, it has consulted with employees, suppliers, contractors, and other partners, and followed UK Hospitality guidelines to draw up the following plans:

All of its pubs will have protective transparent shields at tills and screens will be used to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate the tables to the social distancing requirement.

The Old Manor Pub in Bracknell, England. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

JD Wetherspoon has said that it will provide gloves, masks and protective eyewear, and employees can choose for themselves whether to wear them or not, subject to government guidelines.

There will be an average ten hand sanitiser dispensers around the pub, including at the entrance for customers and staff to use.

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.

Wetherspoon pubs are very popular as they offer a wide variety of drinks and food at very reasonable prices, often more than half the price, per pint than many other pubs. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

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 on the table using the base of the glass.

The pubs will also offer a slightly reduced menu and will provide sachets (ketchup, mayonnaise, salt pepper etc), rather than their usual condiment bottles.

Pubs will be open their usual opening hours, which on average is 8am to midnight (Sunday to Thursday) and 8am to 1am (Friday and Saturday).

 John Hutson, Wetherspoon chief executive, said, At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs. However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement. We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans. We have received more than 2,500 suggestions from our staff. The safety of our staff and customers is paramount.

Wetherspoon has an average customer area of almost 4,000 square foot and almost 700 of its pubs have either a beer garden, roof garden/terrace or outside patio area.

The pubs are well known in the UK for having very reasonably priced drinks and food. The price of a pint at a Wetherspoon pub is often over 50% cheaper than that of a pint of the same beer at another pub close by.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, Wetherspoon, Pubs.

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