Hundreds of Marston’s pubs have reopened this week and for its operations team it’s provided an opportunity to see all its spadework from the last few weeks come to fruition.
The firm has been implementing a nationwide project to help equip pubs with alternative outdoor spaces to safely welcome back guests.
Ed Hancock, operations director at Marston’s, said the battle for consumer spend after months of being closed will be won outside.
“Outdoor seating at our pubs has become more important than ever, especially as we come out of lockdown. We already have some of the best outdoor spaces in UK hospitality and as much as we wanted to expand, we also needed to,” he said.
Alongside the new garden spaces, Marston’s pubs are operating an online ordering system for both food and drinks and allowing access to toilets and baby changing facilities.
Pubs are having to adapt and adjust their operations drastically to adhere to guidelines and prepare for reopening.
Mr Hancock said that each outdoor design was carefully considered utilising available space and how the area could be used to ensure operations and customer experiences were enhanced.
“So far we have worked on almost 300 pubs. We have worked closely with our contractors and suppliers, as well as our property team to ensure that we are meeting not only government guidelines on outdoor social spaces, but also ensuring that we don’t compromise on pub operations and customer experience. There is no one size fits all, we have to think about how the space will be used and most importantly what guests are looking for.”
“Moving through 2021 and beyond, external spaces will become even more valuable and the industry needs to continue to provide a safe, comfortable environment for guests.”