This weekend I did something remarkable. It was a thing I told myself a long time ago I would struggle to do, especially as I don’t trust the people of Wigan to social distance (see my previous blog). But alas, I am celebrating the day of my birth in a few days, so I took one massive leap of faith….and actually visited a pub.
Granted, it wasn’t in Wigan so I felt far safer, but I was extremely impressed with how well Owd Nells Tavern in Garstang has responded to Covid-19. I approached the entrance, which had three very neat queues separated by barriers (one queue for food and drinks, another for just drinks, and another for the restaurant). On approach the staff were friendly and hospitable. They took down my name and contact number and within seconds I was directed to a table. Simples. All tables were clearly social distanced, and staff wore masks when serving food. I had expected a long wait (especially on a Saturday) but the whole process was swift, and more importantly, safe. Drinks were purchased at the table to save people having to walk around needlessly; and menus were all disposable. On an unrelated note, I would highly recommend the steak!
My friends, this is the future. Table service should become the norm even after all of this Covid mess is over! Just the thought of getting up close and personal at the bar in Revs with thirty other drunks fills me with dread; and lets be honest we spend less money because half the night we’re trying to fight for the barmaids attention! Pubs are quick to talk about their financial struggles over the past 10 years but here is my tip to them- encourage table service. Invest in an app if necessary to allow orders to be made swiftly. Provide a service where customers don’t have to spend excessive amounts of time waiting at the bar, or having to grapple for space. The public will appreciate the ease, and I believe it will encourage more people to venture out to pubs at the weekends. You’ll thank me, one day.