Friday 22 May 2020 10:32 am

Wetherspoon to rely on app more than ever under plan to reopen all 875 pubs

JD Wetherspoon has outlined plans to invest £11m in reopening its pubs, including installing screens and providing hand sanitiser and protective clothing for staff. 

The pub chain said it will reopen all of its 875 pubs in the UK and Ireland when it gets the go-ahead from governments, and all pubs will operate their usual trading hours.

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The UK government has said that hospitality businesses will not open until 4 July at the earliest. 

Wetherspoon said at least two full time staff per pub will be employed to regularly clean surfaces and touch points when its venues reopen.

One employee will be assigned the task of enforcing social distancing measures. 

Wetherspoon, which has an average customer area of 4,000 sq ft per pub, said screens will be installed in areas where tables cannot meet social distancing requirements. 

A total of ten hand sanitiser points will be installed in each pub.

Staff will be provided with gloves, masks and protective eyewear, although it will be up to each employee to decide whether they want to wear the protective equipment. 

However, each employee will have to sign a daily health assessment questionnaire to confirm they are fit to work and have their temperature taken before each shift. 

Different entry and exit doors will be used where possible, and signage and barriers will be installed to guide customers. 

Punters will also be asked to use the Wetherspoon app to order food from a reduced menu and drinks to their table if possible. 

Cash payments will be accepted at the bar, although the pub chain said contactless payment is preferable. 

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs.

“However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.

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“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.”