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 this week, but warned for each step to be taken, benchmark numbers will need to be met.
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Pizza Express restaurants with outdoor seating will be allowed to reopen from mid-AprilCredit: Alamy
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.
Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown
PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the “four steps to freedom” are met. Here’s what we know so far:
- Hospitality outdoors
- Self-catered staycations with one household
- Indoor hospitality
- Indoor exercise gyms
- Bingo halls
- Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
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.
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.
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 The Sun 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
All 104 Five Guys restaurants in the UK are currently open for takeaways and deliveries, but the retailer has said it will open outdoor spaces for diners from April 12.
From there, it plans to open all restaurants for people to sit in from May 17.
Franco Manca pizza chain is hoping to reopen in April as soon as they are given the go-ahead to.
Around 40 of its 52 pizzeria’s have some outside seating and it is working on plans to get as many of them open as possible.
The chain told The Sun it will share more information on bookings and opening hours on its website soon.
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.
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 The Sun 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.
Leon is hoping to open 25 restaurants that have outdoor seating on April 12, which is around a third of its 60 plus branches.
The restaurants that will open include:
- Tottenham Court Walk
- Shepherd’s Bush
- More London Place
- Tottenham Court Road
- Pancras Square
- Brunswick Centre
- Kensington Arcade
- Regent Street
- Chancery Lane
- Jubilee Place
- Eastcastle Street
- Canary Wharf
- Birmingham New Street
- Oxford Cornmarket
- Manchester Piccadilly
All Leon restaurants are currently open for takeaways and deliveries.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Pizza Express is working on opening restaurants that have “substantial outside dining areas” from April 12.
It is still deciding on which restaurants will be able to welcome back customers and promises to update us with the details as soon as possible.
The chain is now accepting online bookings for May 17 on wards.
Around half – 180 – branches are open for click and collect and delivery across the UK.
Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger is not yet ready to confirm whether it will be able to open branches for customers to sit outside.
Many branches are still open for takeaway services during lockdown. It is also selling food boxes filled with essentials and menu favourites.
TGI Fridays has told The Sun it is preparing to open some branches for outdoor dining from April 12.
A spokesperson said: “For this initial phase, we will have up to 25 restaurants open with outdoor service, a list of which will be published in advance.”
There are more than 50 TGI Fridays across the UK, some of which are open for takeaway and deliveries during lockdown.
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.
Wagamamas is still deciding on whether top open its restaurants on April 12.
The noodles chain has 135 restaurants in the UK, many of which are open throughout lockdown for takeaways and deliveries.
Wetherspoons is yet to decide whether it will be opening pubs with outdoor space from April 12.
However, ‘Spoons boss Tim Martin has been vocal about the Government’s decision to split the reopening of pubs over five weeks.
He said the decision had been made by “ministers with no experience of business, or empathy for business”.
The pub chain has confirmed to The Sun that customers won’t be able to book a table though, and will have to wait until they turn up when pubs reopen.
Young’s brewery has told The Sun is it is working on plans to reopen pubs from April 12 to serve people outdoors.
However, it expects to definitely open all pubs by May 17, when indoor seating is permitted.
Youngs pubs are already accepting bookings but be prepared to have plans changed if you book before April 12 and your local branch is unable to reopen.
Zizzi is planning to reopen restaurants with outdoor seating from April 12, where possible.
It is still working out which branches this will affect and exactly how many will be able to open before May 17.
You can still get your Zizzi fix during lockdown as the restaurant chain is running a takeaway service.
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.
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