Pubs opt to continue 'relaxed' table service

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Vertical drinking: pub goers can order from and drink at the bar from Monday 19 July but some pub groups say they are keen to continue table service (image: Henrik Sorensen / Getty)
Vertical drinking: pub goers can order from and drink at the bar from Monday 19 July but some pub groups say they are keen to continue table service (image: Henrik Sorensen / Getty)

Related tags: Bar, Coronavirus, lockdown, Oakman Group, City pub company

Almost half of The Morning Advertiser’s (MA) readers have said they will continue with table service beyond next week and the relaxation of Covid-secure trading measures.

Vertical drinking has been banned since pubs reopened in the spring following England’s third national lockdown.

Pubs were mandated to use table service and instructed that customers must remain seated when eating and drinking.

However, these rules will be lifted on ‘freedom day’ on Monday 19 July when pubs will be able to trade without social distancing and other Covid laws.

Just under half (45%) of readers said they would still use table service in a survey of 229 licensees via The MA​ website.

An almost identical proportion (44%) said they would scrap costly table service in favour of a full return to ordering at the bar while 11% said they were still making up their mind.

The Oakman Group has said table service will be among the existing Covid measures to continue beyond 19 July across its 35 sites.

Respect others

Alex Ford, managing director of the pub group, said: "Our continental-style table service throughout our pubs is a quicker and more relaxed method of being served. We ask that our customers respect others, including our team, and give everyone some space. Other than that – very little has changed. 

“Our priority always has been and remains to ensure that our customers get a great service in a great environment delivered by a great team. We've got the space to breathe safely again, and we hope you'll come and share some of your summer with us."

Other Covid measures that will be retained include screens between tables, hand sanitiser stations and regular cleaning regimes.

City Pub Group has said it will maintain table service alongside asking staff to continue wearing masks with pubco boss Clive Watson saying freedom day should not be a “free for all”.

Related topics: Health & safety

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