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Suffolk’s biggest pub chains ‘normal as can be’, say customers

PUBLISHED: 12:20 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:20 15 July 2020

More than two thirds of people who took part in a Greene King survey placed returning to their local as a top priority post-lockdown  Picture: GREENE KING

More than two thirds of people who took part in a Greene King survey placed returning to their local as a top priority post-lockdown Picture: GREENE KING

Greene King

Customers have said pubs are as ‘normal as can be’ after Suffolk’s two biggest breweries reopened their doors.

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said pubs Adnams pubs have embraced technology  Picture: JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMSNick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said pubs Adnams pubs have embraced technology Picture: JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMS

Both Adnams and Greene King have had positive responses from people after their pubs reopened with social distancing measures in place.

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said: “Our reopening has been largely positive, but on the flipside there is a lot for us and our staff to take on.

“The front of house job roles have changed as there is much more responsibility on them, to take names and addresses, to clean and inform people of the rules and also police them, too.

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“One of the pub managers said it feels like he has started a new job in familiar surroundings.

“Obviously we have noticed a drop in trade, but I think this is purely due to a loss of capacity.

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“For example The Bell at Walberswick has a massive garden area and we normally cover 400 to 500 people a day, but now we are doing just 150 a day to ensure social distancing and not to put too much pressure on our staff.

“Our whole business model has changed. We are now serving food all day and we are encouraging people to eat at different times to spread out the demand.”

Adnams has had positive feedback from pub-goers.

“It has been really reassuring to see the comments online and people have been saying it is as ‘normal as can be’,” said Mr Attfield.

Research, commissioned by Greene King, found that 97% of people felt that going to the pub again made them feel like life was going back to normal.

It also found that 86% of people felt pubs had the same atmosphere they had been hoping for despite social distancing measures being in place.

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Karen Bosher, a managing director at Greene King, said: “Pubs are a quintessential part of British culture and we were delighted to start welcoming customers back earlier this month. It goes without saying that the health and safety of our teams and customers was our number one priority, but we also wanted to make sure that our pubs still felt like the friendly, sociable places they always have been.

“It’s fantastic to see that people are still keen to visit their local pubs and even better that they felt safe doing so and have enjoyed the experience.”


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