One of the country’s largest pub chains said it would not force drinkers to give their details – fearing that politics would turn them down.
Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s, also refuses to have staff wear masks, saying the pubs shouldn’t look like hospitals.
He said customers could support the bar when the pubs open next week – ignoring another safety directive issued by the government.
Ralph Findlay, CEO of Marston’s, also refuses to have staff wear masks, saying pubs shouldn’t look like hospitals
Marston’s will reopen 90% of its 1,400 sites as of July 4 – and more in Wales and Scotland will follow once local lock restrictions are lifted.
The brewer will spend several hundred thousand pounds on personal protective equipment for employees who want to use it for “their own peace of mind”, but not for granted.
The Wolverhampton-based group, which owns the chains Pitcher & Piano and Revere, said it would leave pens and paper for customers to fill in their details if they wanted.
This means that this voluntary information, and potentially the records of those making digital reservations, will be the only data it can provide to help the government track and locate efforts.
Brewer will spend several hundred thousand pounds on personal protective equipment for employees who want to use it for “their own peace of mind”, but not on office [File photo]
This comes after the industry body, the British Beer and Pub Association, raised privacy concerns over the collection and storage of customers’ personal information.
A spokesperson said, “We have significant concerns regarding the collection and storage of customer personal information when visiting the pub.
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to work with the sector to make it manageable as it poses significant logistical challenges. “
Reducing the social distance rule by two meters has thrown a lifeline in pubs and restaurants – but has created confusion, with some places imposing strict measures and some planning to introduce none – even in different pubs belonging to the same company.
The guidelines also contrast sharply with the rules on public transport, where masks are compulsory.
Findlay, 59, said issues such as PPE and contact information were “requests” from the government, not rules.
He added that there is a “degree of gray area and flexibility in orientation that is very useful”, allowing officials to form an opinion on the elements they want to apply.
The Wolverhampton group, which owns the Pitcher & Piano and Revere chains, said it would leave pens and paper for customers to fill in their details if they wanted. [File photo]
Rival Wetherspoon’s – which will open its 750 pubs in England from next week – has spent £ 11 million on PPE and measures such as hand sanitizers and remote posters to keep staff and customers safe .
But like Marston’s, it won’t force staff to wear it. The group installed screens at the bar and between tables spaced less than two meters apart.
Findlay estimates that the Marston sites will need revenue at about 50 to 60 percent of pre-Covid levels to break even. The Marston foreclosure canceled sales of £ 40 million in March.
Findlay urged the ministers to reduce VAT from 20% to 5% in hospitality to encourage punters to go out and spend.
He said it would also be crucial to make pubs nice places to visit, adding, “It is important to me that pubs look like pubs and not hospitals because if they do, people don’t will not want to come here. “