You are currently viewing Which coffee shops and bakeries have opened outdoor seating?

As of Monday 12 April, bakeries, coffee shops, pubs, and other hospitality venues could serve people food and drink outdoors for the first time this year.

But, opening outdoor dining areas comes with restrictions of its own, including the need for a pavement licence as well ensuring social distancing can be maintained.

So, which of the major chains are offering outdoor seating to their customers? And what extra measures are they taking to ensure safety? Find out below:

Birds Bakery West Bridgford store

Birds Bakery

Will outdoor seating be available? Yes

How many of the stores have it? Eight of the bakeries have reopened their outdoor seating and 20 of them have either indoor and/or outdoor seating in total.

What additional health & safety measures will be put into place? “The safety of our staff and customers is paramount and we will be continuing with our rigorous measures. As government guidelines now allow outdoor table service for customers up to six, we have reduced the number of seats outside and spaced them out to allow for social distancing,” said CEO Lesley Bird.

Caffè Nero

Will outdoor seating be available? Yes

How many of the stores have it? 560 Caffè Nero stores are open and trading, including outdoor seating.

How have operations changed since the restrictions eased? Opening hours will be flexible based on footfall and how individual sites perform in specific locations.

What additional health & safety measures will be put into place? The business will still operate inside as if it were a takeaway only business, but outdoor seating now allows customers to eat and drink at sites if they choose to. The seating follows all the correct guidelines the government has laid out and requires customers to leave their contact details as part of track and trace.

Costa Coffee logo

Costa

Will outdoor seating be available? Yes

How many of the stores have it? Costa has opened the outdoor seating areas at approximately 1,400 stores across England. All Costa Coffee stores in England without outdoor seating areas will continue to be open for takeaway, drive-thru, click & collect and delivery only. Indoor seating areas will remain closed. 

How have operations changed since the restrictions eased? In line with strict government guidelines, Costa has amended how it serves customers choosing to sit outside, ensuring the safety of both customers and team members. It will be operating on a first come, first served basis, and some stores may have limited seating available to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

What additional health & safety measures will be put into place? ”The health and safety of our customers and store teams is our number one priority. We have implemented strict processes and measures across all our stores throughout the pandemic to ensure we can operate safely, and regularly review these in line with government guidelines,” said a spokesperson.

“Customers visiting our stores will see clear signage both inside and outside our stores and floor signs have been carefully placed to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Some stores also will have more limited seating in outdoor seating areas than usual, to help everyone follow social distancing guidelines. Customers using our outdoor seating are legally required to provide their contact details to support NHS Test and Trace, and our team members will ask that customers do this before placing their order.”

Gail's Bakery in Maida Vale

Gail’s

Is outdoor seating available? Yes

How many of the stores have it? It has 25 bakeries with outside seating which will be opening up to customers on 12 April as well as launching a new brunch menu.

How have operations changed since the restrictions eased? “Obviously, we’ve only been allowed to serve customers to take away during the recent restrictions. For us we are going back to what we love – serving our customers – but now they can enjoy the Gail’s experience in our gardens and terraces. Fortunately, we have robust health and safety processes in place from last year, so operationally no major changes were required,” a spokesperson said.

What additional health & safety measures will be put into place? From 12 April, everyone sitting at one of the outside tables is required to check in using the NHS Track & Trace. There will be signs on the doors, by the tills and on tables to make it nice and easy.

Paul UK

Is outdoor seating available? Yes

How many of the stores have it? Two thirds of the estate have some form of external seating, and we have been liaising with neighbours and local authorities to ensure we can maximise the space available to us.

How have operations changed since the restrictions eased? “We have adjusted our operating plans and our risk assessments in line with the government’s advice and social distancing measures. Our number one priority is the safety of our teams and customers, and we have processes in place to ensure all shops and outdoor areas are managed appropriately,” said COO Gary Cowles.

What additional health & safety measures will be put into place? “There have been significant changes to how we operate throughout the pandemic – we have revised risk assessments that we had in place, which reflect the changes to current Covid restrictions, and these have been trained to all our teams across the business. These are also supported by management checks. Our teams have been magnificent in the way they have adapted, and I am confident that we will continue this trend as we navigate our way through the easing of lockdown,” Cowles added.

Pret social distancing sign

Pret A Manger

Is outdoor seating available? Yes

How many of the stores have it? Pret hasn’t given an exact number but 323 of its shops are now open with outdoor seating offered “across as many shops as possible”. Customers will be able to use the seating on a walk-in basis.

What additional health & safety measures will be put into place? Pret has conducted a full review of its safety processes and believes it has strong protocols in place to ensure shops can safely remain open for takeaway, delivery and al fresco eating where applicable from 12 April. This will be reviewed over the coming months. Specific steps Pret has taken include:

  • Ensuring all employees and customers visiting Pret wear face coverings, unless exempt, in line with the current government guidance
  • Protective Perspex screens fitted to the till counter
  • Restricted customer flow into shops, with the number of people allowed inside at any one time
  • Provision of hand sanitiser gel to be available to customers as well as team members
  • Safety ‘refreshers’ for team members: Covid safety rules are currently in place in staff rooms to ensure teams are reminded daily. The latest guidance is also shared regularly to ensure they remain front of mind.

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