However chief executive Nick Mackenzie warns that many pubs across the UK ‘will not be financially viable or able to open for operational reasons with the current restrictions in place’.
The pub company announced its new ‘pub safe’ promise today (12 June) as looks to a phased re-opening of some of its venues once lockdown is lifted.
The money has been invested in ‘protective measures’ across the managed pub and brewer’s 1,700 sites. They include thermometers to check the temperature of each team member before every shift; hand sanitiser stations throughout the pub; training on new safety measures, and additional staff members to be dedicated to extra hygiene.
Its ‘pubs safe’ promise comprises five commitments around hygiene and safety:
- Safe socialising layout throughout our pubs
- Looking after our team, so they can look after our customers
- Minimise contact
- Hand sanitising and hygiene
- Pub Safe Monitor
As part of the pledge the company has introduced a ‘safe socialising layout’ to its pubs, including clear signage to direct customers through the pub; spacing of tables in-line with government guidelines; pre-booking will be encouraged, and service areas will have Perspex screens. There will also 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, and toilets will be cleaned every 15 minutes.
Greene King is to roll out an order and pay app, as part of its pledge to minimise contact and pubs will provide one-time-use menus that can be disposed of ‘in a sustainable way,’ while cutlery will be wrapped and condiments served in sachets or ramekins.
The fifth pledge by Greene King is that every pub will have its own dedicated Pub Safe Monitor: a team member, identifiable by their uniform, who will be in charge of additional cleaning.
‘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,’ said Mackenzie.
‘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 government and reducing social distancing from two metres to one would make it possible for many more pubs across the country to be viable.’