The coronavirus lockdown has caused much of the British high street to close in recent months. But while restaurants and cafes were allowed to remain open for takeaways, popular chains such as Greggs closed their doors in order to protect staff and customers. However, fans of the bakery will be pleased to know Greggs is planning to reopen hundreds of its stores from next month.
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Greggs has been one of the last food outlets to reopen during the lockdown.
The chain was initially going to reopen some of its stores last month, but made a U-turn due to fears of overcrowding.
However, Greggs has now confirmed that it will reopen almost half of its stores from mid-June.
The chain has 2,050 stores around the country which have all been closed since March.
The good news follows a successful trial project in Newcastle which had “progressed well”.
The chain had been testing out new measures in order to see if it was safe to reopen on high streets around Britain.
In a statement on the website, CEO Roger Whiteside said: “Since temporarily closing our shops, we’ve been working hard to get up and running again, and we are now undertaking some initial trials. To begin with, these trials will take place behind closed doors in order to test a number of new operational safety measures that will enable social distancing, and for us to operate in line with the latest Government guidelines.
“These trials are being conducted across a number of channels, including delivery through Just Eat, Click + Collect and walk-in customers. Colleague and customer safety continue to be the primary focus of the decisions we take as we start to re-open our shops.”
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The company has been working on trialling a limited menu for walk-in customers.
Greggs has also been testing out shorter working hours for its staff as well as social distancing measures.
A Greggs spokeswoman said: “We have planned and delivered robust shop trials using our new operational safety measures and they have progressed well, allowing us to now move to open an increased number of our shops from mid-June.”
The chain is the latest in a long line of restaurants and fast food outlets that are getting back to business as the lockdown eases.
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McDonald’s has opened up 39 of its drive-thru lanes, with plans to reopen the rest by early June.
The burger chain has also been offering delivery, or “McDelivery” of its menu through apps such as UberEats.
However, it’s also offering a limited menu in order to help staff keep their distance in the kitchens.
It’s also put a £25 price cap on all drive-thru orders, with contactless payments being encouraged to reduce the risk.
Many other restaurants are taking note and reopening in phases by offering takeaway services.
Nando’s, Pizza Express and Wagamama are all reopening stores to offer food deliveries around the country.
The restaurants are making use of apps such as Deliveroo in order to fulfill customer orders without them coming into the stores.
Customers can order from home and have their favourite food delivered with no contact as social distancing guidelines are still in place.
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