Wetherspoon has given a glimpse of what pubs will be like when the chain reopens its 750 branches from July 4.
Rule changes in England mean that pubs can reopen for the first time since the end of March – so long as strict new safety measures are put in place.
That could mean people queuing outside to get in as numbers will be restricted to ensure one metre social distancing can be maintained.
Wetherspoon is employing at least two more full time people at each pub just to regularly clean surfaces and touch points.
The company will open its 875 pubs across the UK and Republic of Ireland, when it has the official go-ahead from the relevant governments.
It has undertaken extensive employee consultation and has also consulted with many of its suppliers and contractors, as well as referring to UK Hospitality guidelines to draw up its plans.
All of its pubs will have screens at the till point.
Trial signage at one Wetherspoon pub
There will also be screens to create seating areas where it is not possible to separate the tables to the social distancing requirement.
Wetherspoon will provide gloves, masks and protective eyewear.
Employees can elect whether to wear them or not, subject to government guidelines.
There will be an average of ten hand sanitiser dispensers around the 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 that they are fit to work. This will include having their temperature taken using a digital thermometer.
Dedicated staff will monitor the pub at all times in order to maintain social distancing standards and there will be a member of staff on the door at peak times.
The pubs will use one entrance with a separate exit door where possible.
Customer entry and exit will be marked out by floor stickers and/or barriers and there will be clear printed information providing guidance to customers as they enter the pubs.
Each pub will have a member of staff working full time (two or more staff per pub to cover all opening hours) to sanitise all the contact points during opening hours.
These will include door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.
Customers will be asked to use the Wetherspoon order and pay app, wherever possible, or pay at the bar using a credit/debit card and contactless, although cash will be accepted.
Staff will hand over all drinks holding the base of the glass and when ordered by the app they will be delivered to the table on a tray and placed on the table using the base of the glass.
Food will be delivered to the table by a member of floor staff.
The pubs will also offer a slightly reduced menu and will provide sachets (ketchup, mayonnaise, salt pepper etc), rather than their usual condiment bottles.
They will be open their usual opening hours, which on average is 8am to midnight (Sunday to Thursday) and 8am to 1am (Friday and Saturday).
All staff will receive a full briefing and training on the new way of running the pubs.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: “We are extremely pleased that pubs are reopening on July 4 after a long hiatus.
“We are going to discuss the precise Government proposals with our pub managers and staff before we comment further on the details.”