Wetherspoon unveils masterplan to reopen entire estate

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Wetherspoon unveils masterplan to reopen entire estate with extensive safety measures Coronavirus

Related tags: Wetherspoon, Coronavirus

JD Wetherspoon has unveiled a £11m masterplan featuring a raft of safety measures to help protect employees and customers when it reopens its pubs.

In England, Government guidance currently states that some hospitality businesses could reopen as early as 4 July​​, and while the brand says it is aware this is not a confirmed date, it aims to have its 875-strong estate ready to reopen as soon as it is allowed.

Under the new safety measures being introduced, pubs will use one entrance, with a separate exit if possible, and have a one-way system marked on the floor to guide customers to the tills, seating areas, and toilets.

The till areas will screened off to protect staff, who will be supplied with PPE including masks, gloves and eye protection.

An average of ten hand sanitisers will be dotted around each pub, and customers will be expected to sanatise their hands on arrival.

The food menu, meanwhile, will be scaled back, and condiment bottles removed and replaced with sachets. 

Wetherspoon says it will ask customers to order via its app or use contactless payment, but cash will still be excepted.

The average Wetherspoon pub has a customer area of almost 4,000 square foot, with almost 80% of them having some sort of outside space, and customers will be encouraged to sit outside in the pubs’ gardens.

However, tables will be available inside as well, surrounded by screens to ensure social distancing. It is unclear how far apart tables will be spaced.

Each site will also employ two full time cleaners, who will constantly clean surfaces and touch points including door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and hand rails.

Opening hours will remain the same, beginning at 8am every morning, and closing at midnight between Sundays and Thursdays; or at 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

“At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs,” says Wetherspoon CEO John Hutson.

“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 2,500 suggestions from our staff. The safety of our staff and customers is paramount.”

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