‘Everything is going to be trial and error’ - Popular landlords on pub reopening
PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 June 2020
Pub managers who supported the community during lockdown by selling fresh produce warn it will be a case of trial and error after reopening.
Engaged couple Trina Lake, 41, and Bradley Richards, 32, who took over the management of The Crown on Norwich Road, New Costessey, nearly two years ago, said they are looking forward to serving drinks to their customers again from July 4 but would only be able to have 50pc capacity to comply with social distancing.
Mr Richards, a former tattooist, said: “If we can keep our head above water that will be good. Everything is going to be trial and error. We need to take each day as it comes.
“The problem we can see is if we are very busy, will we have to turn away regulars? Are we going to lose customers from this?”
His fiancée said: “It is going to be lovely to be open again and have some form of normality.”
But Miss Lake, a former painter and decorator, added she was anxious about it.
“It is the not knowing aspect on how things are going to go. You cannot please everyone in the pub trade but I think our customers will respect the safety regulations,” she added.
MORE: Managers forced to shut their pub launch fresh food boxes for NHS staff
To make the pub Covid-19 secure, the couple, who lease the building from Ei Group, have turned the rear car park into a large beer garden featuring an outdoor bar, grassed and seating areas.
Miss Lake said: “We have not had a break during lockdown. We have been working constantly.”
They are taking hygiene seriously as the couple do not employ extra staff and have five children between them.
“If one of us caught coronavirus we would be stuffed,” Mr Richards added.
As well as using masks, hand sanitiser and contactless payments, the pub, which does not serve food, will take people’s names and contact details as they arrive, give customers a key to use the toilet and only open its revamped beer garden.
The couple wanted to thank local firms for offering their help for free during the renovation and Miss Lake thanked her sister who was made redundant after lockdown and helped support the business.
MORE: ‘It’s cheaper to stay closed’: Pub owners’ bleak view on reopening
They were also overwhelmed by the support from the Costessey community after the couple started selling fruit and vegetables from the pub car park and delivering produce boxes to residents’ homes and NHS staff.
Miss Lake said: “When I saw a news item on a nurse in tears who couldn’t buy any food we knew we had to help.”
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