This is how we were going about things before the second lock down. We’re leaving it in place in case we need it again. Obviously it’s not relevant while the pub is closed.
We find ourselves in the strange position of only sort of opening the pub.
I know that people would like to slip in, have a quick drink, wander around and decide whether they like it or not. You can’t really do that now because it makes everyone nervous - especially Boris and the too worthy Matt Hancock who is following scientists who don’t know either. Perhaps one of the good things that will come out of all this is the realisation that mathematical algorithms are inherently unreliable because they rely on the presumptions, another way of saying guesses, of the modeller.
Having said that you can of course call in for a drink but you’ll have to sit down and be served at table by our nervous, new and masked staff and you can’t wander around without wearing a mask yourself. This is not what I want to offer you but we’ll all just have to do the best we can.
We have again carefully read HMG's current guidelines and this is what we have decided to do:
We’d prefer you to book your table in advance and preferably using the online booking system on the web site. You can also telephone on 01829 470072 - be patient if it takes a while to answer. We will still take walk-ins but space will be limited and if there’s no room you’ll have to have a drink on the front patio or leave as you can’t hang around the bar waiting. Sorry, that really is horrible for us both. We are obliged to close completely at 10pm.
We ask you to follow the HMG guidance about groups of no more than 6 people from one household, including children, per table. We can’t check this so we trust you to do the right thing.
We have introduced a one way system to help people keep out of each other's way which is odd because a pub is supposed to bring people together. The front door is in and the back door is out.
Wear a face mask as you come into the building. You will be shown to your table and then you can sit down and take your face mask off. Please wear it when you visit the loo.
The principle is that it’s all table service - just sit down and we will take over. Our staff will do their best to keep a safe distance from you while doing this but it is a small pub so be tolerant. If you’re eating, cutlery will be placed in tankards on your table and will be replaced after each sitting. Salt and pepper shakers and table surfaces will be sanitised regularly through the day. Individual use menus will be found on the table, then binned and replaced after each use. Every menu will have a QR code so you can scan it and read the menu on your own device if you so choose.
In these times it's better to keep away from people as a virus will find it harder to find you if you're over there. So for the short term we have laid the tables out so that people can easily sit a metre, in most cases more, away from each other. Sadly we won't be able to have people at the bar. Just generally try to keep away for other people and remember that they may be more nervous than you.
GOVERNMENT TRACK AND TRACE SCHEME
Boris has asked us to get the details of our customers in case there's another outbreak locally. I think this is sensible although I’m beginning to wonder. We will keep the booking contact as the main contact and trust that you can supply HMG with all other people in your party. If you've not booked we'll take a name and contact number when you arrive and ask you to scan HMG's new Track and Trace QR Code which will be on the bar. We won't keep this information for longer than we are asked to by the authorities, I can’t vouch for them, and we won't give it to anyone else. We respect customer privacy and will not exploit the situation.
Irma, our housekeeper, and her team, mainly Irma, have been cleaning flat out for weeks trying to keep all the builders' mess under control - I think she’s done a marvellous job and I'm proud of how the place looks. During these Covid days we have extended the daily cleaning hours to allow common contact surfaces to be cleaned every day. In addition to this we will have cleaning throughout the day. It can't be perfect, viruses are tenacious, but it all helps.
As we're serving at the table you don't need to go to the bar. Jonney and I are devastated that we can't have locals jammed into the bar as usual and feel it won't be the same. We're not booking the tables closest to the bar so drinkers can sit and talk at them but if someone wants to eat on one of them we're not going to chuck them off. It will probably involve us in a little bit of wise customer management.
We have thought about having some sort of system for marshalling people using the loos but have decided that we should trust you to keep social distancing in the toilets and toilet corridor. We will be cleaning the high touch points frequently.
Pay by contactless card or a smart phone app if you can. We will take cash but prefer electronic payment methods.
DON'T COME IF YOU'RE NOT FEELING WELL?
I know it's obvious to say this but if you feel unwell, or are in contact with someone showing Covid symptoms, please give us a call and we will happily rearrange your reservation for another day when you're feeling better.
That's it. So we look forward to seeing you in the shiny new Hare.
Cheers, Jonney and Jerry