Wetherspoon to spend £11m on reopening pubs

26th May, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon will invest £11 million (US$13.5m) to ensure the safe reopening of its 875 venues once lockdown measures have been eased.

All JD Wetherspoon pubs will be clearly marked with entry and exit points

Pubs, bars and clubs in the UK were ordered to close on 20 March but could reopen as early as July as part of the government’s phased plan to ease the lockdown as coronavirus cases fall.

Last Friday (22 May), the UK’s largest pub and bar chain, JD Wetherspoon, revealed its reopening plan for when it gets the go-ahead from the UK and Republic of Ireland governments.

Wetherspoon said it has undertaken extensive employee consultation and spoken to many of its suppliers and contractors on the reopening plans. The pub chain also considered guidelines from trade body UK Hospitality to draw up its plans.

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said it was important to be prepared for the reopening of on-trade outlets.

He said: “We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans.

“We have received more than 2,500 suggestions from our staff. The safety of our staff and customers is paramount.”

All staff will receive a full briefing and training on the adapted method of running the pubs.

New measures

To maintain physical distancing measures, JD Wetherspoon will have two full-time staff in each pub, with slightly more for larger venues. Staff will regularly clean surfaces and touch points throughout the pubs, including door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.

Wetherspoon will also provide gloves, masks and protective eyewear, which will be optional for employees to wear at work.

An average of 10 hand sanitiser dispensers will be available in each pub, including at the entrance for customers and staff to use.

Every employee will need to complete and sign a daily health assessment questionnaire to confirm they are fit to work, which will include a temperature test using a digital thermometer.

Dedicated employees will monitor the pub at all times to maintain physical distancing, while a member of staff will be on the door at peak times.

Each venue will use one entrance with a separate exit door where possible, with entry and exit points clearly marked.

The pub chain is also asking customers to make food and drink purchases using the Wetherspoon order and pay app if possible, or to pay at the bar using a credit or debit card and contactless payments, although cash will still be accepted. Each pub will have screens at the till point.

Employees will serve drinks by holding the base of the glass. If ordered by the app, drinks will be delivered to the table on a tray and placed on the table using the base of the glass.

Once they are allowed to open, the pubs will operate during their usual hours, which, on average, is from 8am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 8am to 1am on Friday and Saturday.

Wetherspoon has an average customer area of almost 4,000 square foot and nearly 700 of its sites have an outdoor area such as a beer garden or roof garden/terrace.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter