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A regal response to the challenges of Covid

Coronavirus has created a whole new set of challenges for businesses in the hospitality sector. Here Georgina Patrick, general manager of the well-regarded Regal Club – a pub and restaurant in Kingsbridge, Devon - explains how she and her staff coped.

Q: How well have you and your team adapted to COVID-19 restrictions - how positive have your customers been?

A: I feel that we have adapted well to the ‘new normal’ way of trading since reopening in July. I created a risk assessment and ensured that all staff read and understood it. We have safeguards such as one-way systems, hand sanitiser, screens, socially distanced seating, track and trace, and maximum capacities.

We have found that the vast majority of people have been understanding - and even those that haven’t been happy accept the new system are OK with the procedure once it has been explained. Customers are glad to be back and enjoying seeing each other (at a safe distance).

Q: Has any of your team really shone and thrived through this difficult period?

A: Carys Mills, who is undertaking an apprenticeship (with Swatpro Academy), has really stepped up in her role as supervisor since we reopened. Her confidence has grown and she is taking on a greater level of responsibility and doing it well.

Q: How effective has the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ campaign been for The Regal - and please explain your scheme running throughout September?

A: EO2HO was brilliant for our business. As a mainly wet-led pub it gave us a chance to show new customers what we have to offer. We have had record-breaking sales for food during this time. We are now running our own campaign through September with 25% off food on Monday to Wednesday to encourage people to keep coming back.

Q: How has Del Anning of Swatpro Academy helped Carys during and since lockdown?

A: He has supported and encouraged her throughout lockdown so that she could continue her studies during the months when we were shut.

A regal response to the challenges of Covid