Back in the Game - re-opening from 4 July

And after about ten dear minutes He was back in the game Thought he was done, man, thought he was finished But he's back up again

-Jamie T


It’s been a bit longer than ‘ten dear minutes’ but as Mr Treays said, we are indeed back up again and back in the game as of 4 July!


BottleCraft will re-open for on-sales between 2pm and 10pm on 4 July, and will be doing so each Friday and Saturday from that date onwards. For the immediate future all other opening times will remain strictly off sales only.


We are excited, although also a little nervous. We can’t wait to get the bar side of the business back into action and welcome you back for a drink on Piccadilly. We’re confident 4 July works for us, but we fully respect the decisions of many of our peers and friends to delay re-opening, and also of many of our customers to not return at this time.


Off sales and home deliveries are continuing exactly as they did before, we’re committed to getting great beer to you if you don’t feel able to join us for a pint, or for those of you who can’t at this time.


We want to give you an overview in this blog of how things are going to work over the next few weeks if you join us for a drink.


4 JULY ONLY


On this date we’ll only be serving customers with a pre-booked table. This is to allow us to get used to our new ways of working in a managed and controlled way, create a safer environment for you visiting us, remove the challenge of managing walk ups on the first day, and also we hope to mitigate any possible ‘downsides’ of coming back on day 1. 


Table slots will be a maximum of two hours for the afternoon/teatime, and three hours for the evening session. There’s no charge to book, just drop us an email info@bottlecraft.beer with the time you’d like. We’ll need some contact details from you for track and trace, as well as your group size (maximum 4 people). The available slots for 4 July are:


2pm – 4pm

4.30pm-6.30pm

7pm – 10pm (Close)


OPENING TIMES


There will be a revision to our opening times as of 4 July, the new hours are below. Please note that hours remain as they are until that date, so Friday 3 July will be off sales 1-5.30 as ‘usual’.


Monday Closed Home Delivery Day

Tuesday 1-5 Off Sales Only

Wednesday 1-5 Off Sales Only

Thursday Closed Home Delivery Day

Friday 2-10 (Last orders at 9.30) FULL SERVICE

Saturday 2-10 (Last orders at 9.30) FULL SERVICE

Sunday 1-3 Off Sales Only


We’ll keep these hours under review as the situation and guidance continues to develop, but we don’t anticipate making any additional changes in July.


SAFETY AND HYGIENE 


As you’d expect we have, and will continue to have, strict rules around cleaning in place at the bar. These cover all areas set out in the recent government guidance such as hand hygiene, cleaning schedules, staff distancing and PPE and everything associated with your health and safety. A full risk assessment has been undertaken, and we'll be publishing it in the next few days. Wherever we can’t maintain a 2 metre distance mitigating actions have been taken and fully documented. 


All members of the team have been issued with new ‘Covid Secure’ guidance and amended terms and conditions as part of their return from furlough. We’ve developed new role guides for the changed ways we’re working during this new period and training has been and continues to be provided. We know some of the things we’re asking our team and you to do may seem onerous, but we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t believe they were in the best interests of everyone involved for a safe re-opening.


There’s hand sanitiser available around the building and we’ll also provide it when you arrive. Toilets are one in one out as they always were, but please follow all the signed instructions when you’re inside the building about distancing and queuing.


NEW RULES AT THE BAR FOR ON SALES


We’ve set out some of the key changes you’ll notice from 4 July to how we deliver our on sales service to you. Please remember these changes are our best response to new government guidance, there’s still a deadly disease in circulation and we want to make sure that drinking with us is a safe and enjoyable thing to do. 


If you’re not happy to follow the rules please don’t visit us while they’re in force, as we won't be able to serve anyone who doesn’t comply with them. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s important to be clear on that up front.


Capacity – We’re operating with a significantly reduced capacity and we’ll only serve customers we’re able to seat at a table safely. We won’t be serving any standing customers, so if we’re at our capacity we’ll not be able to serve you until a table comes free.


Inside/Outside - whenever the weather permits we’ll be operating all tables outside in our extended pavement area. We’ll only use inside areas on days when it isn’t possible to deliver the service outside.


Walk up/Booking From 10 July onwards walk ups will be available but we strongly advise making a reservation each Friday and Saturday. Please email us for details and to book as we described earlier.


Being seated – On arriving at the bar please wait to be seated. Think of it like visiting a restaurant for the time being. We’ll have a member of the team working ‘front of house’ who’ll make sure you’re seated and served promptly.


Maximum group size – We will accept groups of up to four people, but no larger during this first period. We will not split larger groups across tables. We don’t believe it will be possible to reasonably enforce social distancing rules within or between groups if they’re any larger at this point.


Table service – There will be no service for on sales at the bar. Orders and payment will be taken at your table and delivered to you on a tray. We will collect empty glasses when required and for the foreseeable we’d ask you to not return your glasses yourselves. We’re hugely grateful that so many of you help out usually by bringing glasses back but please don’t do it during the current circumstances.


Payment - Payment is strictly by card or other electronic payment method (Apple Pay etc) only, preferably using contactless payments.


Service charge for as long as we’re operating in this way we’re afraid there will be a 10% service charge applied to each on-sales order to cover our increased costs. We didn’t want to simply increase the price of the beer to cover as that would be unfair to off sales customers and would be harder to remove once the situation moves on. We will 100% abolish this charge as soon as we’re no longer required to operate a table service system!  


Track and trace – We will need to take some details from each group we seat to comply with government track and trace requirements. This won’t be any more than you’d be required to provide if you booked at a table in a restaurant. If you’re not happy to provide this information we won’t be able to serve you. Your data will be securely kept in compliance with all relevant legislation and destroyed after 21 days.


Staying at your table while visiting us we ask that you remain at your table unless you need to leave it for the toilet or are directed to do so by us in an emergency. We will not be permitting standing drinking either outside or inside and we can’t allow customers to move between tables as this will breach social distancing rules.


FINAL THOUGHTS


These are challenging times, and the nature of this awful disease has made things particularly difficult for all businesses in what we now seem to call the ‘hospitality industry’. We welcome the opportunity to resume trade in a measured and safe way, but we know this isn’t going to be ‘going out’ as we’ve known it for a long time yet. 


We’re going to make mistakes in these first weeks, and so are you. The important thing is that we all approach this new situation in an open and supportive way. We’ll learn together, and show that there is a path back for good pubs, bars and restaurants. And hopefully have some fun while we do it!


We also know that for some venues there doesn’t seem to be a path back as yet, and it is important to us that we all continue to support those who can’t re-open as they simply can’t comply with the current restrictions. So please folks, keep buying from the brewery that can’t open its taproom, the bottle shop that can’t socially distance in its tasting area, and all the independent gig venues that aren’t able to re-open. A future without them once we’re past this just sounds too dull for words.


We hope to see some of you on Saturday, and over the coming weeks. We’ve missed your faces!


Much love


Chris, Tom, Rich and all the team at BottleCraft


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33 Piccadilly, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1EN. 01782 911 819