‘We would’ve liked more notice’ - Race for pubs to comply with new restrictions
PUBLISHED: 16:12 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:12 23 September 2020
The race is on for pubs to comply with the government’s ‘second wave’ lockdown restrictions - but many in Norfolk say it is business as usual.
From Thursday, pubs will be calling time at 10pm as new restrictions come into play, with table service and face coverings for bar staff becoming requirements.
Bosses at The Robin Hood in Sheringham say that while they support the measures and don’t see an issue with masks and a 10pm curfew, they would have liked more time to implement table service which was being trialled for the first time on Wednesday before it is made mandatory.
Manager Katy Treanor, said: “It’s not much of an issue for us [a 10pm closure], with the masks we’ve had face shields which we’ve all worn since we reopened in July so that’s not an issue.
“I think the biggest issue is table service, because we’ve never had that in place initially. It was always the case for us that you sit yourself at a table and one person comes up and places your order and goes back down again, so it’s just a case of how are we going to sort it out.”
She added: “Now that we can’t have customers at the bar it’s just made it a little bit more of a challenge for us.
“We’ve started table service today but I think personally the government was a bit fast installing it for Thursday, so we’ve had to give it a run through today. We would’ve liked a little more notice.”
“I’m glad this has come in now, because I think in the summer season it could’ve been a big struggle for us.”
The Rising Sun, in Coltishall, which saw crowds flock to sample its takeaway beer offering during lockdown, says it doesn’t believe the new restrictions will impact it too heavily.
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Supervisor Matthew Rush said: “It’s not going to effect us that massively to be fair, probably on the basis that here in Norfolk most pubs have an earlier shut than places elsewhere.
“We don’t get too many drinkers so once our food is done around 9pm most people have cleared out anyway, so it’s not going to be too bad.
“We might lose out on the weekend a little bit when the drinkers we do have are in, but we’re way more of a food pub.”
He added: “The biggest thing for me is probably having to wear masks all the time for 15 hours a day but it is what it is, we have to do what we have to do to protect our customers and staff.”
Staff at the Banningham Crown have been ahead of the game, with table service and masks for staff in place since July 4 and the pub does not believe reduced opening hours will affect business.
Owner Jeanette Feneron, said: “I think actually here we won’t have too much of a problem to be honest, we’ve been doing the table service and masks anyway.
“We are more of a food pub, I think it’s more the drinkers’ pubs where there might be more of a problem, probably in the centre of towns I think they might find a 10pm shut difficult but it shouldn’t have too much of an impact here.”
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