Pub and restaurant group Oakman Inns is welcoming back customers, with a new app and table-only service.
The Hertfordshire-based business, which employs 1,000 people across venues in London, the Home Counties and Midlands, is encouraging diners to order food and drinks and pay on their new app.
Dermot King, Chief Operating Officer at Oakman Inns, said:
“Pubs remain at the heart of communities across Britain and we are fortunate that ours are larger than most, with good-sized gardens to aid social distancing.
“With the safety measures we have put in place, we are confident that we can provide an enjoyable and safe experience for all our guests. We see it as a part of the normalisation process that will help bring the country back together, as families and friends are able to meet up outside their homes and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries that have been on hold.”
Other measures introduced include:
- Asking customers to pre-book to ensure tables are available
- Informing customers about safety measures during the booking process
- Greeting diners - a host will encourage them to sanitise their hands and explain new safety measures and ask them to provide contact details in line with track and trace measures
- Using bar areas for dining tables
- Spacing tables according to government guidelines, back-to-back where possible and with additional unobtrusive screens to ensure ‘sociable’ separation’
- Introducing a one-way system where possible
- Placing signs throughout advising of safety measures in place, with ‘hosts’ available to help guests navigate the measures
- Installing hand sanitiser stations throughout and additional cleaning
- Introducing disposable menus, printed on sustainable paper
- Encouraging cashless payments
- Asking early arrivals to wait in a designated waiting area
- Introducing controlled access to and additional cleaning of toilet facilities
For staff they include:
- Training on new procedures
- Increasing handwashing and sanitising, which is now an even more important part of daily routines
- Staggering breaks
- Revisiting the Spring/Summer menu so that each dish can be cooked by just one chef
- Providing facial coverings for all staff should they feel the need to wear them
“We have taken over 12,000 reservations for tables from 4 July and some of our pubs were fully booked over the first weekend, which is why we are strongly urging guests to pre-book before they set out."
During lockdown the company accessed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the majority of teams, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Business Rates Relief scheme.
Watch the video to see how Oakman Inns is working to keep customers and staff safe
The government has published COVID-19 secure guidance to support businesses to reopen, and keep workers and customers safe so they feel confident to return. To find out about measures your business needs to implement to reopen safely, there is an online tool, which will direct you to guidelines specific to your type of workplace.
If you run a business and would like to know which of the coronavirus support schemes you are eligible for, you can use the business support finder tool. It takes just minutes to complete and will help you easily find support for your business.