21 Jul 2020

Post-lockdown Pub Protocol

Going to the pub is a time-honoured British tradition, and of all the recent restriction easing announcements, pubs reopening has most prominently heralded a slow return to pre-Covid normality.

But new restrictions and safety measures have meant changes to the natural pub order. It was our pleasure to visit our local establishment earlier this week (purely for research purposes, naturally), in order to share our observations on the new pub etiquette.

Be polite to staff

You don't need us to tell you this, but it's more important than ever to consider those who are making your treasured pint (or glass of red) possible. In order to open, pubs have implemented a whole host of new measures so that you can enjoy a drink in safety. So if your waiter or waitress is still getting to grips with the new iPad ordering system, or just getting the hang of table service after years behind the taps, be kind (and maybe don’t order 12 different drinks at once.)

Patience is a virtue

The ease of sauntering up to the bar and watching your drink being poured has made the idea of waiting for a drink completely alien. But with table service now in effect we need to change our mindset and understand that things might not be as instantaneous as they once were. Much like if you were in a restaurant, aim to catch a member of staff's eye to place your order. Avoid waving at staff - and definitely no clicking your fingers.

Play by the rules

If there is a one-way system in place, follow it. If there maximum capacity in the loos, stick to it. Your frequency in the pub prior to lockdown doesn’t make you exempt from the rules, and we should never forget that they are there for our own safety. As we adapt, it’s totally normal for some of these rules to momentarily slip our minds as we try and enter through the Exit door and vice versa, but if you find yourself having to reminded more than once, it might be time to leave.

Read the room

Whilst the reopening of pubs might invoke hopes of the well-lubricated lock-ins and communal singalongs of the past, understand that other visitors might prefer to keep things low key with a casual glass of red and quiet conversation, not a high spirited box social. Read the room and act accordingly.

Know when it’s time to go

If it's nearing closing time or you're approaching the end of your reservation window, finish up your drinks, settle the tab, thank staff and make a move. No badgering for one more drink, or having to be asked multiple times to leave. And while it’s understandable that alcoholic tolerance may have dipped slightly during lockdown, if you find yourself a little ahead of your group in terms of inebriation, there’s no shame in taking a break or calling it a night.

Dan Scothern, Senior Business Development Manager

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