JD Wetherspoon unveils pub reopening plans


PROTECTIVE screens at tills and seating areas, health assessment questionnaires, dedicated entry and exit doors and the provision of protective equipment for staff are some of the measures intended to be rolled out by pub group JD Wetherspoon when the current closure period is lifted.

Part of an £11 million spend, the group, which owns 875 pubs in the UK, has unveiled steps it will take to ensure “its staff and customers are safe before its pubs reopen”.

Measures include the employment of two or more full-time staff per venue to ensure surfaces are clean at all times and the allocation of staff to ensure social distancing is adhered to and that all touch points, including card machines, door handles and handrails are sanitised; the introduction of screens at till points and seating areas where social distancing is not possible; the provision of protective equipment including gloves, masks and protective eyewear for staff who will be given the choice as to whether they wear them or not; a mandatory health questionnaire – which will include temperature checks – will be taken by staff on a daily basis; and the use of separate entry and exit doors where possible which will be marked with floor stickers and barriers. An average of ten hand sanitiser dispensers will also be available in each pub, it said.

Serving and payment methods will also be altered in JD Wetherspoon’s new plans; customers will be encouraged to make contact payments or use the new Wetherspoon order and pay app and venues will offer a reduced food menu, with condiments provided in sachets. Staff will also be expected to serve drinks by holding the base of the glass.

John Hutson, chief executive of Wetherspoon, said: “At present the government has not confirmed any reopening date for pubs, however, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.

“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 2500 suggestions from our staff. The safety of our staff and customers is paramount.”