With increased focus on pandemic prevention emerging as a key symptom of Covid-19, hygiene regimes in spaces with high footfall have never been more important – with pub and bar operators now charged with providing “peace of mind” for customers.
“Hand sanitiser dispensers at entry and exit points, personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and a thorough cleaning process are all protocols expected by the customer now,” Kevin Robertson, health, safety and operational compliance manager at Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, explains.
However, while staff have incorporated pandemic paraphernalia such as face masks, plastic screens and swathes of new sanitising equipment into their routines, Heineken’s Pub of the Future report suggests that things will go further over the next decade.
“In the future I expect outlets will no longer need to manually disinfect surfaces and the process will be automated with auto-fogging overnight, potentially via a built-in sprinkler system,” Robertson adds.
“Outlet design and layouts will continue to change to allow for greater ventilation, so more windows, bi-fold doors and air conditioning systems encouraging strong airflow throughout the venue."
‘As much, if not more cleaning and sanitation’
What’s more, while Heineken forecasts pubgoers will harbour growing expectations of more stringent hygiene regimes – with the beer giant predicting a greater role for self-cleaning solutions and touchless technologies – operators will be forced to balance this with the drive for more sustainable on-trade practices such as cutting water waste and use of chemicals.
“We recently conducted a survey that found that 95% of consumers are hoping to see as much, if not more cleaning and sanitation practices in pubs and restaurants, even after having been vaccinated,” Laetitia Tettamanti, senior communications manager for Europe at hygiene solutions and services company Ecolab, explains.
“Infection prevention measures are expected to play a key role in the pubs and restaurants of the future.
“Solutions that can enhance operational efficiency and save vital resources like water and energy are already becoming available,” she adds.
“Autonomous disinfection systems such as UV-C light robots can help improve infection control, while digital monitoring programs for dishwashing machines, like Apex™, can provide real-time optimisation, reducing labour costs and achieving consistent results and higher level of cleanliness, for both front and back of house.”
- Download Heineken’s future-gazing Pub of the Future report here to find out more about the trends shaping the industry, and how they’re likely to influence the great British pub.