Distinctive Inns Covid Secure Measures

4th Jul 2020

During lockdown we have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure we are ready for the re-opening of the hospitality industry. Our priority is the safety of all our customers and employees, and we wanted to share with you some of the changes and measures we have put into place at every Distinctive Inns outlet.


We have reduced the capacity at all four outlets to enable safe social distancing. We have also tastefully installed new screens and partitions, so we comply with the ‘1 metre plus’ guidelines. Initially, layouts cannot be changed, and tables can only be reserved up to a maximum party size of 6 guests.

The outlet capacity will be managed by our skilled team on site, with a strict no standing policy in place. Customers will be permitted to order and pay at the bar, and return to their table or outside seating area when there is no space available inside but they must stand behind the line and social distance as shown on the floor markings.

We will be reviewing the capacity daily, but we will not compromise the safety of our staff and customers.


New outside furniture has been installed at the Nuthall, Riverside and the Dorset with new umbrellas at all four outlets so we can have additional seating outdoors with coverings in case of inclement weather. We will also aim to deliver table service to these areas when possible, but permanent table numbers have been fitted so customers can order and pay at the bar.


We recommend making a reservation for the dining areas because of the reducing number of tables BUT bookings are not compulsory, and customers can just call in for drinks.


We have installed sanitiser stations throughout all venues including large 5 litre dispensers at all entrances and customer toilet areas. We will also be stocking small bottles which can be used and kept at various work areas, staff rooms and offices back of house.


We have switched to a new antiviral disinfectant which replaces both the previous front of house sanitiser and bio-sanitiser and kills all known coronaviruses. A 2-stage cleaning process will take place with a 60 second contact time in practise.


We have created new workplace safety checks which will be completed every hour by the team at each outlet. These checks cover all the key points detailed within our own employee updates, Coronavirus eLearning courses and the latest government guidance on how to keep workers and customers safe. This will focus on all the key contact points throughout the building and includes regular toilet checks.


Zoning of work areas will be used to prevent the risk of cross over to enable our team to maintain social distance. Where required, all work areas have been sectioned by floor markings and/or signs. Employees will only be allowed to go into other areas after hand washing and only if totally required.

We also ask all employees to use back to back and side to side working (rather than face to face) whenever possible and our managers will try to reduce the number of people each person has contact with by using set shift patterns for all departments each week where possible.


The opening up of the economy is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. We will be assisting with this service by keeping a temporary record of our customers data for 21 days via a new function on the tills. Our in-house service steps have been updated to request this when orders are placed.


Contactless payments are preferred but we will still be able to accept cash. Our team have been trained to wash their hands and/or use the sanitiser provided at each till point after every transaction with a new increased limit for contactless card payments of £45. There is no limit on Apple / Android phone payments.


We will now only be using disposable menus which will never be re-used and discarded after every use. New individual condiment sachets will replace the salt, pepper and vinegar pourers used previously. All sauces are supplied by Stokes and are already individually wrapped.


We have signposted for all customers to wait outside the toilets when all WC’s are in use. Socially distanced floor markings have been installed, and all entrance doors will be propped open where privacy is not affected.


The government guidance details that when managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you would usually wear is not beneficial unless a risk is assessed as it being beneficial. This is because the risk of COVID-19 needs to be managed through social distancing, excellent hygiene, cleaning schedules and fixed teams.

We have assessed all risks within the business and we have highlighted which activities and roles DO require the use of PPE but if any of our employees wish to wear PPE, for example a face covering, whilst at work, they are permitted to do so, and we will provide them.


Our staff rooms, office areas and cellars we will be operating a 1 in, 1 out policy and all employees will be using disinfectant to clean all contact points before they leave the area.


All employees will be completing a ‘Covid Health Survey’ before every shift, which follows the NHS guidance, and enables them to declare themselves well and able to work. Alongside everyone’s personalised training plan, they have all completed 3 new coronavirus safety courses on customer service, personal protection & cleaning & hygiene.


All sites must have new designated deliveries area. These will be sign posted at each outlet with the steps that all employees must follow. These steps include:

  1. A restriction of access to storerooms, offices, or kitchen areas. This is limited to key Distinctive Inns employees only meaning no delivery person/s will enter our back of house areas under any circumstances.
  2. Before the delivery commences, the manager will ensure all doors are open for easy access which will limit them having to touch any contact points in the building.
  3. Social distancing will always be maintained between the delivery person and team members
  4. All relevant touch points will be disinfected immediately after there has been a delivery
  5. All external packaging will be removed, discarded, and/or disinfected if applicable before placing into stock/store


We now use Microsoft Teams at all sites, and we will be holding group online meetings with all our managers each day to discuss and review our operation. We feel it is important that we all work together and communicate regularly, and this will also give us the opportunity to share ideas and constantly review our workplace safety policies.


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