Adnams: we won’t open pubs until July
- Credit: Sarah Groves
Southwold-based brewer Adnams has said it will not open any of its pubs before July - despite reports that beer gardens could be allowed to open in less than a fortnight.
National newspaper reports suggest pubs may be able to reopen their outdoor spaces as soon as June 22.
But Adnams is sticking to previously announced plans to reopen pubs it manages on July 4, with some new innovations to help keep staff and drinkers safe.
Nick Attfield, director of properties at the brewery, said: “We’ve got 250 employees to bring back off furlough and eight managed properties to reopen, so I think at this stage I’ll stick to my plan for July 4.
“I’ve always said: I can reopen pubs but it’ll take me at least three weeks and we’re now at four weeks [until July 4].
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“I can imagine it’s more useful for some of our tenants who have got gardens and who have already got takeaway services going. They’ll be able to offer the opportunity for their customers to stay in the garden rather than having to find park benches or take it home.
“We’ve got 38 tenanted properties and about half of them have got outside space that they could open.
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“It is a natural extension for those that are doing takeaway food already.
“But for the scale of what we’re trying to do with our managed properties I don’t think it is that useful. We’ve got to get everyone back in, essentially induct them as new employees.
“There’s lots of new ways of operating. Firstly, they’ve got some online training to teach them the new ways that we’ll be coming to work and working alongside each other.
Staff will have to be trained on a new system Adnams is installing, similar to the Wetherspoon app.
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Mr Attfield said: “We’re investing in some new tech so that customers can order and pay from their tables, so there will be training on that.”
The brewery is also having to change how it is producing beer leading to some guesswork as to how much pubs will need, Mr Attfield said.
“They had turned all of their attention to bottled and canned – because that’s what you buy online or in supermarkets – but now as pubs reopen they will have to judge and guess how much cask and keg to make for our pubs and for wider distribution.”