Planning for reopening this year is like opening for that very first time in 2010.
With plenty of added issues.
My head is spinning with thoughts of social distancing measures, reduced menus, hand sanitizer, cough screens, floor stickers, one-way systems, work stations, takeaway paraphernalia, ventilation, masks, gloves, hours, rotas, signs.
We have no real idea how many staff we’ll need but we definitely can’t do things the way we’re used to.
Last season on any given dry day we’d have 4 or 5 staff, squeezing past each other in the bottlenecks, the cry of “sorry” or “excuse me” ringing out every few seconds. People reaching across each other for cutlery, sauces, cups and saucers, sugar bowls and milk jugs; two or three people working on the same order so that we could get it out quickly.
In the small kitchen there’d be three people at three close stations making sandwiches, panini, salads, jacket potatoes, talking to each other to make sure they were working in unison.
Two steps away on the other side of the room would be 2 or 3 people bringing in trays, washing up, loading the steam washers, putting things away, passing each other constantly, swapping roles, often called to help take out orders.
This is the way we have done it for ten years. It’s like a bee hive. Everyone knows or learns how it works.
Now we have a very different challenge.
Once we reopen on Saturday 4th July we’ll be feeling our way for the first week or two.