UK Bartenders Guild roundtable provides reopening insights

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UK Bartenders Guild roundtable provides reopening insights

Hoshizaki UK recently hosted a roundtable event with the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild (UKBG) and some of the leading bartenders and mixologists in the country. The event included lively discussions on a number of topics and produced some valuable insight from leading operators on the measures they are taking to reopen safely.

Tim Batchelor from The Pig Hotels who have sites in Hampshire, Somerset, Devon, Kent and Cornwall shared a very clear strategy, explaining that: “We are approaching reopening more as opening from scratch. Every member of staff is getting completely retrained over three weeks. Week one focused on new Covid protocols and cleaning regimes, whilst weeks two and three focused on bar, restaurant and kitchen skills training.

“Cleaning regimes were already rigorous in hospitality venues pre-Covid and the pandemic has heightened this. We have dedicated a member of staff to sanitise all the touchpoints throughout the day. This includes all surfaces, handles and tables every hour and between guest visits. Staff at Pig Hotels will also continue to wear masks and ensure that social distancing is maintained. Our outside restaurants have been covered with stretch tents and canopies as part of our wet weather plan and a positive impact is that operators are learning to utilise their outdoor spaces a lot better going forward and into the summer months.”

Tim went on to add that: “Most top end bars were table service already but that will continue in other regular pubs and bars so customers and staff can maintain a safe distance.”

Luca Rapetti, Bar Manager at the Shard shared the equally comprehensive measures he is implementing in order to safely reopen his ground floor terrace bar: “We are controlling numbers as guests must book in advance and on arrival they will have their temperature checked, as will staff. Every time a group of guests leaves we spend 10 minutes fully sanitising their table and chairs. We have invested in bespoke hand sanitiser dispensers around the hotel and staff, both front and back of house will continue to wear face masks.”

As Luca explains the wearing of face masks could be here for some time. “We expect the wearing of face masks to continue this year and may be in to 2022 as well.”  Cesare Caporali who planned the opening of his Roots Local, community cocktail bar in Stratford to coincide with the easing of lockdown restrictions and echoes Luca’s thoughts: “Our staff will wear face masks and I expect this to last for at least a year.” Cesare went on to explain that: “We purposefully went for small coffee tables in order to keep a safe distance between people.”

The cruise industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and as Edward Dieusaert, Food and Beverage Development Manager at Cunard was keen to explain the lengths they are going to ensure staff and guest safety: “We have reviewed and enhanced sanitisation protocols across our fleet and invested in an improved ventilation and filtration system which allows more fresh air on board. Self service restaurants and buffets have all stopped and seats at the bars have been removed – it’s waiter service only. The first cruises will start with around 40% occupancy to help maintain social distancing and employees will have one month of training and quarantine before taking up their roles on board.”

Click here for more information on the UK Bartenders Guild.