RESTAURANTS and pubs have been given the go-ahead to reopen for outside bookings from April 12 under plans to ease England out of lockdown.
The PM unveiled his four step blueprint to lift lockdown yesterday, but warned for each step to be taken, benchmark numbers will need to be met.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates…Toby Carvery restaurants with outdoor seating will be allowed to reopen from mid-April
These include for Covid cases, hospital admissions, vaccinations and deaths.
Assuming all goes well, the hospitality industry will be allowed to welcome back customers for indoor bookings from May 17.
Within hours of the announcement, Brits desperate to sip on a pint rushed to book tables at pubs and restaurants for when they reopen.
Outlining a target date will be a relief for many businesses who’ve been closed for most of winter due to Government restrictions.
But Harvester and Toby Carvery owners Mitchells & Butlers has slammed the plans for “yet again pushing the hospitality sector’s reopening to the back of the queue”.
Only restaurants with outdoor seating will be able to reopen from mid-April, while some brands have said they will hold off until May regardless of whether they have outdoor space.
We’ve spoken to some of the popular high street food outlets to find out if they will be reopening from April.
Byron has confirmed it will open 17 of its 20 restaurants from April 12 for bookings for outside seating.
The burger chain has also told A Journalist it is working with Brooklyn Brewery to set up outdoor bars at a few of its locations although these are yet to be confirmed.
Restaurants will open with normal working hours, which are usually between 12pm until 9pm or 10pm. You can find your local here.
The chain said it had already seen an uptick in the number of bookings since last night’s announcement.
The full list of Byron restaurants that will be opening on April 12 include:
- Bury St Edmunds
- Lothian Road (Edinburgh)
- Royal Mile (Edinburgh)
- Milton Keynes
- Old Brompton Road
Nando’s says it is working on plans to reopen some restaurants with outdoor seating as soon as possible but it can’t say exactly when this will be.
They also can’t confirm exactly how many branches will be able to reopen yet or what will be on the menu.
There are currently 340 Nando’s branches in the UK, some of which are open for takeaways and deliveries.
You can find out where to get your Nando’s fix using the locator tool.
The Vietnamese-inspired restaurants will be opening branches that have outdoor seating from April 12.
The restaurants will be operating normal working hours and you can book a table online.
Pho hopes to open 13 out of its 30 UK restaurants, weather dependent. These include:
Honest Burgers has 45 restaurants across the UK, half of which are currently open for takeaways and deliveries.
Meanwhile, the other half are closed due to lockdown restrictions.
The burger chain told A Journalist it is yet to confirm whether it will be opening any branches for outdoor bookings from mid-April.
Fried chicken fans will have to hold off until at least May 17 before being able to sit in a KFC restaurant.
The chain doesn’t offer outdoor seating at any of its restaurants so won’t legally be allowed to open until stage three of the lockdown,
Branches are still open for takeaway and deliveries though.
Toby Carvery owners Mitchells and Butlers has said that it is reviewing the “viability of operating outdoors” before deciding on whether to reopen from mid-April.
A spokesperson warned “very few” of its pubs, bars and restaurants will be able to operate profitably under the restrictions.
As a result, the brand expects the majority of its businesses to remain closed.
There are 158 Toby Carvery restaurants around the UK, all of which are closed during the third lockdown. It has also stopped offering its takeaway service.
McDonald’s is waiting on further guidance before deciding whether to reopen branches with outdoor seating in April.
But the chain is continuing to work on plans to reopen branches for walk-in takeaways from this week.
McDonald’s has still served customers through home delivery via Uber Eats and Just Eat.
Drive-thrus have also remained open and McDonald’s will now also deliver food to your car so you can skip the drive-thru queue.
There are 1,700 Greene King pubs around the UK but the chain is yet to decide on exactly when they will reopen.
When boozers were allowed to reopen on July 4 after the first coronavirus lockdown last year, the brewery delayed its reopening until July 6.
At the time it said it was to make sure branches were as safe as possible.
Harvester is also owned by Mitchells & Butlers, which has warned it is unlikely its businesses can afford to operate under such restrictions.
While it is working on plans for when it can reopen, it is likely punters will have to wait longer than April 12 before tucking into a roast from the pub chain.
There are over 230 Harvester venues in the UK. They are all closed, including for takeaways, during the current lockdown.
O’Neills is another chain owned by Mitchells & Butlers, so pub reopenings are still yet to be decided.
There are 49 of the Irish bars across the UK. All of them are closed at the moment due to lockdown restrictions.
All Bar One
It is not clear when All Bar One hopes to reopen its 56 UK bars.
The chain is owned by Mitchells & Butlers which is deciding on a reopening plan that will keep its businesses running a profit.
However, the owners have warned it is unlikely they will open in April when outdoor bookings are permitted.
Punters will have to follow a strict set of rules when pubs and restaurants do open again.
Even for outdoor bookings, boozers must only offer table service and social distancing will still need to be observed.
In better news, the hated 10pm curfew will be scrapped and drinkers won’t have to order a substantial meal with their alcohol, putting an end to the Scotch egg debate.