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‘It could look like a prison’: Hospitality industry on new reopening advice

PUBLISHED: 10:37 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:55 21 May 2020

Hannah Springham (inset) who runs the Farmyard in Norwich and The Dial House at Reepham alongside husband Andrew has cautiously welcomed the advice. Pictures: Archant

Hannah Springham (inset) who runs the Farmyard in Norwich and The Dial House at Reepham alongside husband Andrew has cautiously welcomed the advice. Pictures: Archant

Archant

Pubs and restaurants across the county have tentatively agreed with guidance submitted to government on how the hospitality sector should reopen.

Farmyard, St Benedicts. Pic: ArchantFarmyard, St Benedicts. Pic: Archant

A 75-page dossier has been submitted to the government by UKHospitality - the trade body for the industry - ahead of potentially reopening the sector on July 4. 
The document reportedly includes a number of measures which many will be familiar with, including cashless payments and putting barriers up between tables.

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Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham, at the Farmyard restaurant. Pic: ArchantAndrew Jones and Hannah Springham, at the Farmyard restaurant. Pic: Archant

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Hannah Springham who runs the Farmyard restaurant in Norwich and The Dial House at Reepham said that she wasn’t surprised by any of these measures. 
However she was cautious about the idea of putting screens up on tables. 
She said: “Restaurant owners work hard to create an atmosphere where customers can feel relaxed. If you put screens up you risk it looking like a prison waiting room. On top of this, it could cost thousands to implement. 
“We have to remember that although the virus may be around for a few years some of these ideas may be costs small businesses can’t absorb. There are other ways to practise social distancing which wouldn’t damage business.” 
Other measures include removing items left on tables including salt and pepper shakers and cutlery, which should instead be brought out to customers.
Customers will also be advised not to queue and to order from their table, and wait for empties to be collected by waiting staff instead of returning them to the bar. 
“We’ve bought some retro-style cocktail trollies which we’ll wheel food and drinks out on,” said Ms Springham.

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“They’ll be brought to the table - at a social distance - and the customers can then pick up their order from there. We suspect our chefs will need to wear PPE, and of course we’ll be reducing our covers for distancing dependent on the guidelines.”

As well as following in the footsteps of many other businesses and putting tape on the floor - the industry will also be told it needs to monitor and regularly clean the toilets on their premises.


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