Dobbies restaurants reopening with 'safety champions'

The Dobbies garden centres chain will be reopening its restaurants this month, with safety and social distancing measures in place.

There will be many changes when the Dobbies restaurants reopen
There will be many changes when the Dobbies restaurants reopen

Dobbies has centres at Gailey, between Wolverhampton and Penkridge; Shenstone, near Lichfield, Telford and Shrewsbury. There is also one between Oswestry and Wrexham.

It has 68 restaurants across the UK with Northern Ireland opening on Friday, England on Saturday followed by Wales on July 13 and Scotland two days later.

Dobbies reopened its centres across the UK in May and June, with strict social distancing measures in operation.

There will be a dedicated 'safety champion' in each restaurant who will be solely responsible for ensuring all measures are being followed.

Staff will be required to collect contact information from customers for NHS Test and Trace.

Tables and chairs are being laid out in the restaurants to ensure there is a safe distance between diners, with a combination of table and counter service across the restaurants. In counter service restaurants, customers will select their food then collect their covered meal from a dedicated food collection area, along with cutlery, wrapped straight from the dishwasher.

Self-service coffee machines will not be in use, but baristas will be on hand to serve hot drinks.

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Dobbies will also be continuing with rigorous hygiene routines, with all trays and tables sanitised after use. Each restaurant has also taken additional steps when working with suppliers, with contact-free and sanitised deliveries.

Graeme Jenkins, chief executive of Dobbies, said: “Following the successful reopening of our garden centres from May, we are well-placed to restart our restaurant operations. Customers will be able to enjoy all of their Dobbies favourites again, including our bespoke blend coffee and famous scones.

“The safety of our team members and customers remains Dobbies number one priority, which is why we have introduced the new role of safety champion. Not only do we want customers to feel safe, but we want them to have an enjoyable experience.

“We look forward to welcoming customers back into our restaurants and would like to thank our team members and customers for following the safety measures in place.”

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