Pubs should consider implementing an online reservation system and groups will not be permitted to use smoking areas together, according to unpublished draft guidelines that have been seen by The Irish Times.
According to The Irish Times, the draft guidelines, which are being developed by Fáilte Ireland, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and government officials, state that, when they reopen, pubs should "consider an online reservation option for customers, as not only will this communicate new procedures and practices, but it will also limit the requirement for queuing.
"The amount of seating and stools must be reduced, and customers should order from their seat wherever possible to reduce queues.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
"In circumstances where table service is not provided, customers will be encouraged to maintain strict physical distancing whilst ordering from a dedicated service area at the bar, with a partition in place between the customer and the bartender.
"Customers must not be encouraged to go outside in groups to smoke. This is to ensure that it's possible to maintain physical distancing."
Food, Serving Drinks, Cleaning And Toilet Use
The draft guidelines also state that carvery meals will be permitted as long as they are plated up by pub employees; open bar snacks and finger food must be served to individual customers and must not be shared by a table; when pouring drinks, bartenders must hold glasses by the stem or base, must "not place the nozzle, tap, optic or bottle into the glass when pouring" and must place the drinks on the bar counter before serving; place mats must be replaced with linen or single-use disposable mats; and glasses should be air dried.
In relation to cleaning, the draft guidelines state, "The frequency of cleaning and disinfection must be increased in all public spaces to at least twice daily. Particular attention must be paid to frequently touched surfaces, which must be visibly clean at all time. These includes counters, door handles, public bathrooms, stair handrails, dining surfaces and seating areas."
Additionally, the draft guidelines state that pubs must enforce a strict queuing system for toilets as well as limitations on the number of toilet users to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.