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Living on-site and new menus: What pubs are doing ahead of reopening

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:36 25 May 2020

Fiona Moore (left) and Sharleen Dashwood (right) have lived at The White Horse while Sharleen's daughter Lucy has run social media channels from home. Picture: Fiona Moore

Fiona Moore (left) and Sharleen Dashwood (right) have lived at The White Horse while Sharleen's daughter Lucy has run social media channels from home. Picture: Fiona Moore

Fiona Moore

Many pubs have a date circled in the calendar for when they plan to dust off their beer glasses.

Fat Cat Brewery Tap landlords Mark White and Laura Hedley-White are looking forward to welcoming customers back. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFat Cat Brewery Tap landlords Mark White and Laura Hedley-White are looking forward to welcoming customers back. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

July 4 is when many are planning to reopen - with preparations including altered menus and PPE. 
Wetherspoons announced this week what its plans are, and independent pubs across Norfolk also shared their thoughts.

• Living in

Staff at a pub in Crostwick took the decision when lockdown was announced that they would move out of their homes and into the pub.

Landlady of The White Horse Sharlene Dashwood and chef Fiona Moore decided the best way to serve takeaway at the lowest health risk was to live on-site and reduce exposure.

“We wanted to be able to minimise contact as much as possible. When it comes to running our takeaway service we answer the phones, we cook the food and we take it out to the customer,” Ms Moore said.

MORE: Plans put in to close city street for outdoor dining as restaurants seek coronavirus boost



“That way customers know minimal people have been in contact with it. My son, partner and grandson moved in to my home and I’m so excited to see them again – facetime has been a saviour – but we did what we needed to for our customers.”

• Getting creative with the garden

The White Horse will also be opening its paddock area for the first time as a picnic zone.

“We’re lucky in that we’ve got a lot of outdoor space so we want to make the most of it,” said Ms Moore. “To practise social distancing outside we’ve placed planters on the tables which can’t be in use. We can move them and the tables depending on what size of family or booking we hace come in.”

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• Staff

The Fat Cat Brewery Tap in Norwich’s Lawson Road has also been open for takeaway during lockdown.

Landlord Mark White said open reopening – which he is optimistic will be July 4 – will see staff in PPE and working in zones.

“Staff will be in PPE and will each monitor their sections to reduce crossover between members of staff,” he said. “We’ll also be asking people not to queue at the bar and will be taking drinks out.”

• Toilets

“Toilets are a concern for a business like a pub,” Mr White said. “We’ll be cleaning them extremely regularly.

“Staff will be given extra training on social distancing, hygiene and safety. We just want to be able to give customers a pint and a smile.”

MORE: Pub will reopen with new roof terrace and take away menu



• Reduced chefs and altered menus

At the Jolly Sailors at Brancaster Staithe the landlady has said the pub will be operating with reduced chefs to avoid contact in close quarters.

She said: “The kitchen is where we’d have a relatively higher number of people working close together. Because of this we’ll be looking at how many chefs we need in and what we can do differently.”

Given this the landlady is looking at adapting the current menu.

“Because we may have fewer chefs in we’ll be looking at altering the menu slightly in the short term so that we can stay on top of it,” she explained.


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