REFURBISHMENT and specialist fit-out building contractor Hugh Stirling has developed a range of protective mobile serving counters to help operators who are looking to maximise outdoor spaces as lockdown measures are eased.
Designed as part of the company’s COVID-19 Workplace Compliance Services, the made-to-order mobile serving counters are moisture resistant, timber-clad structures with metal corner protectors, collapsible shelves and lockable castors and are described as “perfect for pub beer gardens and restaurants with outdoor spaces”; barriers and external canopies can also be included with the product.
The Glasgow-based company has also developed a range of made-to-order protective screens for servery counters and till points and free-standing screens for fixed seating areas. Licensees can fine-tune the screens to fit their needs as the products can be made with either powder-coated aluminium or wood; protective screens can also be constructed using acrylic, toughened glass or plexiglass.
Angus Alston, projects director at Hugh Stirling, said that as demand for materials such as acrylic – a lightweight and cost-effective material which is commonly used to manufacture screens – grows, operators should be making plans now to secure the equipment they need to reopen venues.
Alston said: “We are aware of the importance of utilising external areas wherever possible, thus maximising occupancy and giving security to some customers who may not feel they are ready to enter a confined space. We have therefore designed a mobile servery counter which can be wheeled out each day for serving. To complement this we can also offer barriers and external canopies which can be procured within two to three weeks.
“The main issue I wish to get across is that, while I understand it’s difficult to plan fully until the final guidance is given (eg. 1m or 2m distancing) licensees need at the same time to think ahead.
“There is an unprecedented worldwide demand for acrylic (the best material for the screens as its lightweight and low cost) to the point that many of the UK stockists are now saying November onwards before they can secure further stocks! And on top of this, many of the national chains are ordering huge quantities of screens to ensure they are ready, which again is straining the supply chain.
“We have secured stock of the raw materials in our factory and have also designed the screens in such a way that they can be interchanged if need be with the likes of toughened glass.”