Star Pubs unveils strategy to kick-start reopening plans

The Duck Inn, Redditch

Star Pubs & Bars has started reopening preparations so that its Just Add Talent (JAT) pubs can open as soon as it is safe to do so. 

The pub chain has kicked off a series of February Virtual Forums for its 130 Just Add Talent operators to obtain feedback on proposed opening plans.

Previous JAT Operator Forums following the July 2020 reopening had highlighted the need for better use of social media and digital platforms to demonstrate to customers what to expect when pubs reopen and the need for more comprehensive, earlier staff training to ensure that employees were able to adapt to the new Covid safe environment in their pubs.

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Star Pubs & Bars plans to introduce a raft of new training modules for operators and staff, including refresher training on the ‘perfect serve’, upselling opportunities, delivering great table service and delivering food offer brilliantly.

Based on feedback from operators, Star Pubs & Bars is preparing to streamline systems and procedures across its JAT estate – including simplifying risk assessments, reviewing supplier performance and better WiFi provision, as well as revisiting its facilities management provision.

To help remind customers of social distancing regulations, Covid-19 safety point of sale will be refreshed and reissued to all JAT pubs once full details on opening conditions are known.

Star will also be launching new promotional activity and a refreshed drinks menu to attract new and existing customers back into their JAT sites once it is deemed safe to do so.

Beki Davies, retail concepts manager at Star, said: “The forums are invaluable. They allow us to listen to operators’ concerns and share national and local insight with them, and in this case discuss our reopening support plans. Starting the process early means there is time to factor in changes resulting from feedback.”

Vicki Gaffey of The Duck Inn, Redditch said: “When it came to the first lockdown the reopening support was excellent. I had Zoom calls with my business development manager and the Safe to Trade audit we went through was really good.

“It gave me confidence that we were organised. We were also given Covid safety signage, and the reduced menu made running the kitchen much more manageable as we had to factor in zoning in the kitchen.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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