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Greene King unveils plans for reopening amid pandemic

Greene King has unveiled details of how its pubs will look and operate ahead of re-opening, including ‘Pub Safe’, a new set of five promises to its team and customers.

All Greene King’s 1,700 managed pubs will follow a new set of Pub Safe promises, designed to look after team members and ensure customers can socialise safely.

Greene King announced its new “safe socialising layout” with “clear signage” to direct customers through the pub. 

Tables will be spaced out further in-line with any government guidelines and customers will be encouraged to pre-book a table rather than stand at the bar. 

Greene King said the bar service area will have perspex screens and screening will be positioned between booths where necessary. 

There will be new one-in-one-out red and green indicators at the entrances to the toilets so customers can flip the indicator with their elbow as they enter and exit, with toilets cleaned every 15 minutes. 

As part of its commitment to keep team members safe Greene King has invested £15m in ‘Pub Safe’ related measures for a phased reopening, including protective measures for teams and customers. 

The pub group said its teams are undergoing “comprehensive training” ahead of reopening and will be temperature checked ahead of every shift. Investment is also being made in additional team members to keep hygiene standards high.  

As part of its pledge to minimise contact between team members and customers, Greene King is rolling out its order and pay app, ahead of schedule, to all its managed pubs.

The fifth pledge by Greene King is that every pub will have its own dedicated ‘Pub Safe Monitor’, a team member, easily identifiable by their uniform, with the responsibility of ensuring that additional cleaning of tables and public space is done swiftly and efficiently. 

The monitor will also be the clear point of contact for any customer or team member who wishes to raise a concern.

Nick Mackenzie, Greene King CEO, said: “We can’t wait to welcome our customers back to our pubs and we know people are eager to return to their local. The safety of our customers and team members is always our number one priority and against the backdrop of a slow recovery from Covid-19, we are investing to put in place all the necessary arrangements.  

“Of course, customers will notice some differences when they return but it’s important that alongside implementing the changes, we maintain the very essence of the great British pub.”

He added: “Many pubs across the country, including a number of our own, will not be financially viable or able to open for operational reasons with the current restrictions in place and we hope that, for the future of our industry, these measures will be short-lived.”

He added: “We are working towards a phased re-opening and are planning to open as many as we can. However, the future of our industry is reliant on continued support from the government and reducing social distancing from two metres to one would make it possible for many more pubs across the country to be viable.”

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