Oakman Inns said this morning that the nature of its cooking style – based on charcoal and wood-burning ovens – meant it had sufficient extraction systems to guarantee the flow of clean air, as rules on social distancing are relaxed from Monday.
It also revealed that it plans to retain table-only service across all 35 of its pubs despite the impending removal of Covid restrictions.
The company said that the health and safety of customers remains a priority, with staff taking and delivering every table’s order.
Oakman, which provided the Cabinet Office with advice on pub biosecurity, will retain all their existing Covid measures including screens between tables, hand sanitiser stations and high-intensity and regular cleaning regimes.
Facemasks will not be insisted upon, but Oakman expects customers to respect each other’s space.
Oakman’s style of cooking fresh food in open theatre kitchens means that their ventilation systems naturally create sufficient airflow that reduces risks from aerosols.
But with large covered outside dining spaces, customers have the option of al-fresco dining. Oakman has taken the opportunity to refresh many of its gardens and terraces.
Oakman Group’s CEO, Dermot King, said: “Our signature cooking method has been based on a combination of charcoal and wood-burning ovens. Our extraction systems and airflows are therefore so much more robust than the majority of other restaurants – however big they may be.”
Alex Ford, managing director of Oakman Inns, added: “Our continental-style table service throughout our pubs is a quicker and more relaxed method of being served. We ask that our customers respect others, including our team, and give everyone some space.
“Other than that – very little has changed. Our priority always has been and remains to ensure that our customers get a great service in a great environment delivered by a great team. We’ve got the space to breathe safely again, and we hope you’ll come and share some of your summer with us.”