Screens and visors set to make pubs look very different as they re-open to public
- Credit: Archant
Greene King has warned that “a number” of its premises won’t be financially viable or able to open for operational reasons as it unveiled a very different world for pub customers.
With bars sealed with plastic screening and social distancing measures in place, pub-goers will enter a new era as pubs start to reopen in July with the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The Bury St Edmunds-based group warned many pubs across the country – including some of its own – won’t be able to make things work with the kind of restrictions they will face – unless measures are eased.
MORE – Greene King slashes rents for tied tenants as sector faces ‘existential threat’As a result, Greene King still can’t say which or how many of its 2,750 pubs, restaurants and hotels will reopen on July 4.
“We won’t have that detail I’m afraid until the government issues its guidelines to the sector as this will determine which pubs we will open,” a spokeswoman said.
The pubs giant has announced measures for its 1,700 managed pubs to protect staff and customers ahead of reopening under its new ‘Pub Safe’ regime.
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Tables will be booked ahead on an Order and Pay app, and indicators at toilet entrances will show when they are free.
Greene King says that it has invested £15m personal protective equipment (PPE) and other protective measures.
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Pub safe monitors will also be on hand in every pub to make sure tables are cleaned efficiently and swiftly.
Meanwhile Greene King Pub Partners has written to all its leased and tenanted partners outlining additional support it will provide to help them adapt.
Since pubs closed, it has provided around £11m in rent concessions and invested around £4m to support tenants.
Each of the 1,000 tenanted pubs will get a £250 (PPE) kit for reopening, and has been offered £120 of Covid-19 signage and free online training courses.
Chief executive Nick Mackenzie said they were working towards a “phased re-opening” of their managed estate.
“Of course, customers will notice some differences when they return but it’s important that alongside implementing the changes, we maintain the very essence of the great British pub,” he said.
“Many pubs across the country, including a number of our own, will not be financially viable or able to open for operational reasons with the current restrictions in place and we hope that, for the future of our industry, these measures will be short-lived.”