5 essentials you need to consider for a Covid Christmas in hospitality

Christmas 2020 is likely to be very different to previous years with social distancing measures in place. UKHospitality shares its advice for hospitality businesses so everyone can stay as safe as possible.
1

Encourage pre-booking

There is no legal requirement to tell your customers to pre-book, but we strongly encourage it. It will help you and your staff manage the flow of customers, calculate your kitchen control and budget for stock levels more accurately, and support the NHS’s Test and Trace requirements. It’s recommended that you keep a record of every customer for 21 days, so ask for names and contact details at the time of booking, rather than when they all turn up at once on the day.

2

Can you offer a carvery?

As a traditionally popular Christmas meal offering, a carvery isn’t off the cards this year. If you have done a risk assessment to ensure you are operating safely and have implemented any appropriate mitigations (such as ensuring that staff serve the food rather than customers serving themselves), a carvery is still a possibility.

3

Can you put on entertainment?

Sadly, at time of writing, Christmas carols are a no-go. That’s because venues aren’t allowed to permit live performances, including sing-a-longs, to take place in front of a live audience. This is to lower the risks of airborne transmission. So, think about playlisting a great selection of Christmas songs through your PA instead. And, sadly, that means no visits by Santa, either. Unless he calls before your guests arrive, and leaves little presents on the table!

4

Who can dine together?

Currently, the prospect of a big family Christmas dinner isn’t possible, if that family includes more than six people. The rule of six works differently depending on what part of the UK you’re in and if you’re in an area with more restrictions.

A group of people dinning together for Christmas dinner
5

Focus on table service

Table service must be used, alongside further measures such as assigning a single staff member per table. Where bar or counter service is unavoidable, such as at a carvery, preventing customers from remaining at the bar or counter after ordering is essential. Offer customers the chance to pre-book bottles of wine, which you can place on their table. They may also prefer the option of smaller bottles (such as 20cl or 37.5cl) to open themselves.

Don’t forget:

1 Only you know what works in your venue
2 A bespoke plan tailored to the layout of your venue is a must
3 Information is your friend. The more of it you can give to your customers, the better
4 Keep customers informed about what you’ve done and what’s expected of them

For the latest advice, visit UKHospitality

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