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Your pub and hospitality experience as the Covid restrictions ease

WelshBluebird

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I’ve never really bought the rationale behind reducing menus (other than products not being available, which isn’t often actually cited).

Is it really to make social distancing in the kitchen easier, or is it really just an excuse to cut down the menu/employ fewer staff? Presumably in somewhere like a ‘spoons most of the meals just come out of the freezer, into the microwave and then straight onto a plate in any case.
I'm not convinced its anything to do with COVID or staff tbh. Just that by doing the clubs every single day, they are adding to the number of different meals the kitchen will be expected to do at the same time - so something has to give. They probably decided they could get around with adding a few extra items but not all of the different curries they offered.

If you think of a normal kitchen (it can be any - a decent restaurant, a Spoons, a McDonalds or your own), you only have enough capacity in that kitchen for a certain number of different meals. Even if they are pretty simply to "cook" - they still have to be kept in a freezer and then defrosted in a fridge (from what my partner who works in a Spoons has said - a lot are defrosted first, so you need fridge space for those) and so the more variations you have, the larger space you need or the less of each variation you stock. And for the ones that aren't simply microwaved (like steaks, burgers, fish etc) you need separate cooking equipment for them.

It's the same reason why McDonalds don't serve their usual stuff during their breakfast hours and why they stop serving breakfast at whatever time it is so they can then start on their regular items. Its just you can only do so many things at once.
 
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43066

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I think it's mostly down to the uncertaincy of the times: variable customer demand, unpredictable and often sudden changes in government restrictions and guidance, potential sudden closure if there's covid cases amongst staff, weather (there's a lot more use of outdoor areas), wobbly supply chains (both covid and brexit related) the list goes on

Reducing the range you stock or the scope of the menu lets you streamline the stock you have to keep which can then reduce wastage. A lot of Real Ale pubs have had to pull back on the range of cask they offer as venue capacity is still suppressed by physical distancing rules and you only have a very short window to sell each cask before it goes off. On top of that a sudden closure could mean pouring hundreds of pounds worth of stock down the drain

There's also an argument for having a simpler, more limited customer offering and being able to consistently meet that than trying to achieve previous levels of offer and failing or having patchy availabilty

I'm not convinced its anything to do with COVID or staff tbh. Just that by doing the clubs every single day, they are adding to the number of different meals the kitchen will be expected to do at the same time - so something has to give. They probably decided they could get around with adding a few extra items but not all of the different curries they offered.

If you think of a normal kitchen (it can be any - a decent restaurant, a Spoons, a McDonalds or your own), you only have enough capacity in that kitchen for a certain number of different meals. Even if they are pretty simply to "cook" - they still have to be kept in a freezer and then defrosted in a fridge (from what my partner who works in a Spoons has said - a lot are defrosted first, so you need fridge space for those) and so the more variations you have, the larger space you need or the less of each variation you stock. And for the ones that aren't simply microwaved (like steaks, burgers, fish etc) you need separate cooking equipment for them.

It's the same reason why McDonalds don't serve their usual stuff during their breakfast hours and why they stop serving breakfast at whatever time it is so they can then start on their regular items. Its just you can only do so many things at once.

Thanks both, to be fair all of the above reasons make complete sense.

Covid is used as a general catch-all excuse for so much these days it’s difficult know when to believe it!
 

DelayRepay

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It's the same reason why McDonalds don't serve their usual stuff during their breakfast hours and why they stop serving breakfast at whatever time it is so they can then start on their regular items. Its just you can only do so many things at once.

On the subject of McDonalds breakfast menu, I would like to know why the Bagels have disappeared never to return. I preferred the bagels to their muffins and wish they would come back.

Not convinced by the 'distancing in the kitchen' argument given the contents of the bagels and muffins were the same. Not convinced that putting a bagel in the toaster would cause much of a problem really.

Maybe they weren't popular enough.
 

VauxhallandI

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Cheshunt
On the subject of McDonalds breakfast menu, I would like to know why the Bagels have disappeared never to return. I preferred the bagels to their muffins and wish they would come back.

Not convinced by the 'distancing in the kitchen' argument given the contents of the bagels and muffins were the same. Not convinced that putting a bagel in the toaster would cause much of a problem really.

Maybe they weren't popular enough.
Ive not had their bagels; what was in them? the same as muffins?
 

MP33

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19 Jun 2011
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I am at home and although on leave logging on for work to deal with a few e mails and voicemails. I was meant to be somewhere else this week. However, and there were warning signs at a zoom meetings for all the attendees a couple of weeks ago. At this meeting it was advised although the restrictions are coming to an end. Everyone is expected to self test and be negative. I ordered a set of kits and I am negative. At the Q & A session I made a comment about this and was advised this was following advice. Advice I suspect had become out of date. They said that a further test mid way through a stay would be required. They did not provide details what would happen to someone with a positive test. Were they going to lock them in a cage?

I turned up and the weather was a contributory factor, when booking in they did not appear happy that rang 119 to give my test result and got a text acknowledgement. Seeing that the restrictions were not leading to a happy environment and also the catering was rubbish. I packed my bags and left that evening. I sent a message to organisers (deleted) informing them of this and telling them where they could stick their 2nd test.
 

Bikeman78

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26 Apr 2018
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Nice to see Wetherspoons have basically ditched their specific ‘club’ days and you can now have curry / steak / fish and chips club any day of the week

Obviously you’re not getting Michelin star quality but a touch over a tenner for a large mixed grill including a pint which would cost £3 alone isn’t to be sniffed at!

Only thing now is I wish they would just return to the shared condiment bottles rather than the sachets some of which are impossible to open!
They also cause more waste, both the product and the packaging. Instead of a sack of salt to fill all the salt pots, we have hundreds of little sachets. I don't use a whole sachet of salt, no doubt the unopened ones go in the bin.
 

Trackman

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Been in my other local today as it opened up a couple of weeks back, my ale has gone up by 40p, I had a bit of moan and as I know the landlord he explained beer prices had gone up- hey, I got a free drink too 'to shut me up' hahaha
On the on other hand, my other 'local' which is owned and managed by a chain (Not 'Spoons!) have put their prices down by 20p for my 'usual' which is is near enough the same and the same %.
Now. Where am I going to go? Spend an extra 60p on a pint or save 20p on 2019 prices? doesn't need much figuring out., but I become guilty not supporting my other local.
 

Jimini

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Hammersmith
My local (The George in South Woodford) is taking down all the theatrical stuff as I type and we'll be back to ordering at the bar, and mingling at high tables all standing from tomorrow. Oh, and it'll be Monday club so it's £3 a pint, no change in pricing here :D

The staff can't wait to get back to regular bar service as well, not having to wear masks, and although they're retaining the app for those who would rather use it, there'll be one dedicated person managing that flow, and everyone else will be back to serving face-to-face / the usual pleasantries at the bar :D
 

3rd rail land

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Went to a pub recently in central London. They guy on the door picked up a clipboard with the QR code clipped to it and asked me to scan it. I replied that I did not have the app installed but I could download and install it. He told me not to bother and let me in.
 

kristiang85

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Been in my other local today as it opened up a couple of weeks back, my ale has gone up by 40p, I had a bit of moan and as I know the landlord he explained beer prices had gone up- hey, I got a free drink too 'to shut me up' hahaha
On the on other hand, my other 'local' which is owned and managed by a chain (Not 'Spoons!) have put their prices down by 20p for my 'usual' which is is near enough the same and the same %.
Now. Where am I going to go? Spend an extra 60p on a pint or save 20p on 2019 prices? doesn't need much figuring out., but I become guilty not supporting my other local.

Personally I've been going out of my way to drink in the independent pubs - some of the chains have been very silent on the governments treatment of the hospitality industry (I'm not sure which one yours is).

I've been lucky enough to save money in this past year by not going to the pub for 6 months or so, so I'm not too unhappy about spending a little extra.

I did go into a fullers pub though in London recently, and they had the temerity to charge £7 for a pint of lager (after adding on table service charge too) - I did walk out after one drink there, as that was just ridiculous!
 

yorksrob

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I must admit, I've had to rush for a couple of trains recently as I've been finishing up my beer for a leisurley stroll to the station when the waiter has come along and said "would you like another ?"

"Oh go on then, I'll have another half" :lol:
 

dk1

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What a shame I can’t go out & sample this mask-less world again without all the faff. Another darn 36hrs of isolation to contend with Grrrrr!!!
 

bengley

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What a shame I can’t go out & sample this mask-less world again without all the faff. Another darn 36hrs of isolation to contend with Grrrrr!!!
You can, because you've been pinged by the app and it is not required to follow the isolation advice from the app.

Why not take a lateral flow test just to reassure yourself?
 

dk1

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You can, because you've been pinged by the app and it is not required to follow the isolation advice from the app.

Why not take a lateral flow test just to reassure yourself?
I’ve had a proper Covid test & two LFTs in the last 5 days, all negative. I am however sick from work as requested so it wouldn’t look good.
 

greyman42

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I did go into a fullers pub though in London recently, and they had the temerity to charge £7 for a pint of lager (after adding on table service charge too) - I did walk out after one drink there, as that was just ridiculous!
Some Fullers pubs in London have been slyly adding a service charge. Just tell them you do not wish to pay it and they will remove it from the bill.

Been in my other local today as it opened up a couple of weeks back, my ale has gone up by 40p, I had a bit of moan and as I know the landlord he explained beer prices had gone up- hey, I got a free drink too 'to shut me up' hahaha
On the on other hand, my other 'local' which is owned and managed by a chain (Not 'Spoons!) have put their prices down by 20p for my 'usual' which is is near enough the same and the same %.
Now. Where am I going to go? Spend an extra 60p on a pint or save 20p on 2019 prices? doesn't need much figuring out., but I become guilty not supporting my other local.
I drink at a pub in Covent Garden, it is not the cheapest in the area but i don't mind paying the extra for the superior customer experience.
 

duncanp

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Bloody hell, I missed this earlier. That's astonishing.

I was charged £8.20 for one pint of beer at the German Gymnasium opposite Kings Cross station in early April, shortly after hospitality in England had reopened for outdoor service only.:o

Anyone paid more that £8.20 for a pint?
 

Trackman

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Some Fullers pubs in London have been slyly adding a service charge. Just tell them you do not wish to pay it and they will remove it from the bill.


I drink at a pub in Covent Garden, it is not the cheapest in the area but i don't mind paying the extra for the superior customer experience.
Youngs pubs do it as well, I think there has to be 5 or 6 of you though. We got stung once, told them to do one. I wouldn’t mind, they are expensive to start with.
 

52290

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Youngs pubs do it as well, I think there has to be 5 or 6 of you though. We got stung once, told them to do one. I wouldn’t mind, they are expensive to start with.
Youngs and Fullers have both sold their souls to the devil. Youngs closed their Wandsworth brewery and have their beer brewed by Marstons in Bedford. Fullers sold their brewery in Chiswick to the Japanese brewer Ashai. They are both merely pub owning companies now, although the press and even the BBC often still refer to them as brewers.
 

greyman42

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I was charged £8.20 for one pint of beer at the German Gymnasium opposite Kings Cross station in early April, shortly after hospitality in England had reopened for outdoor service only.:o

Anyone paid more that £8.20 for a pint?
It has always been very expensive in there, even pre-covid.

Youngs pubs do it as well, I think there has to be 5 or 6 of you though. We got stung once, told them to do one. I wouldn’t mind, they are expensive to start with.
It happened to me in The Vintry in The City, and i was on my own just having a single pint. Needless to say i did not pay it.
 

Bantamzen

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I was charged £8.20 for one pint of beer at the German Gymnasium opposite Kings Cross station in early April, shortly after hospitality in England had reopened for outdoor service only.:o

Anyone paid more that £8.20 for a pint?
I once paid nearly $14 for a pint at JFK Terminal 8. I'm pretty sure people in the UK heard me shouting "'Ow much!!!" :lol:
 

WelshBluebird

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Youngs pubs do it as well, I think there has to be 5 or 6 of you though. We got stung once, told them to do one. I wouldn’t mind, they are expensive to start with.
How do they do that if you each order separately (either via the app, or by going to the bar separately)?
 

philosopher

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I once paid nearly $14 for a pint at JFK Terminal 8. I'm pretty sure people in the UK heard me shouting "'Ow much!!!" :lol:
A few years ago I paid £11 for a pint at Singapore Changi airport. Double whammy of being in an airport and in a country will high alcohol duties.
 

Trackman

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How do they do that if you each order separately (either via the app, or by going to the bar separately)?
I don't know, we ordered food and drinks at the table and had a bill at the end. That's the first time I've seen it in a Youngs pub.

It happened to me in The Vintry in The City, and i was on my own just having a single pint. Needless to say i did not pay it.
It's made me think, next time I'll order a pint on my own I'll ask for a receipt- maybe I've been diddled all these years. Sometime they do say 'Do you want a recipient?' .. It's made me wonder.
 

kristiang85

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I was charged £8.20 for one pint of beer at the German Gymnasium opposite Kings Cross station in early April, shortly after hospitality in England had reopened for outdoor service only.:o

Anyone paid more that £8.20 for a pint?

I'm a keen craft beer drinker, so I've been known to pay that for a third (usually a 10-12% stout or TIPA though). But its when I pay something stupid like £7 for a branded lager that I draw the line.

Though if you want to see expensive, when I was in Sudan last year the hotel I stayed in had a stash of 330ml cans of Kroenenbourg (not refrigerated!) behind the counter. $20 a pop. I was gasping for beer, but I declined. If it was cold I might have broken though.
 

3rd rail land

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I did go into a fullers pub though in London recently, and they had the temerity to charge £7 for a pint of lager (after adding on table service charge too) - I did walk out after one drink there, as that was just ridiculous!
I bought a round of 5 pints in a London Fullers pub and it cost £32. I declined the service charge. That's £6.40 a pint.
 

3rd rail land

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Yeah that makes sense then, as service would have been 10%, thus pushing the price to £7.
Indeed. At these prices I'm going to need to ask the boss for a very generous pay rise next year!

Personally I am only willing to pay a service charge if I get very good service. Someone bringing over a tray of drinks isn't anything special and certainty not worth of earning a service charge, even if they are friendly.
 

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