Businesses in England that do not ordinarily serve food can team up with local takeaways in order to remain open, the government has confirmed.
It follows a growing number of cases in England where wet-led pubs in Tier 2 have sought to get around the current coronavirus restriction which states they must provide a ‘substantial meal’ if they are serving alcohol.
The idea has already been adopted by The Brewers Arms in St John's, Worcester, which has now teamed up with its chip shop next door, St John's Fish Bar.
Owner of St John's Fish Bar Nick Zipiti was only too pleased to help his local reopen.
He comments. “I sent the owners a message and asked if they were reopening and they said they couldn’t because they needed a commercial kitchen and didn’t have one. So I said “You’ve got me, I’m right next door”.
“I thought it could work and we decided to try it.”
Nick has created a set menu of ten items with the aim of keeping things simple and cost effective. It includes sausage and chips at £3.00 to mini fish and chips at £6.00. Extra sides such as peas and gravy can be added for £1.
“We’ve kept it simple as we don't want to force people to spend a lot when all they really want is a drink,” says Nick. “We’ve got things like sausages and chips, it costs £3.00, it comes in a box and it’s a sufficient meal.”
He adds: “It’s been brilliant, the first day was yesterday and we did about 40 orders.
“I went over and checked out the place, everyone was socially distanced, no one was mixing with anyone not in their bubble, everyone was wearing their masks when needed, it was great.
“The locals were so happy, the pub is where they get together and have a chat. It’s great to see the area getting a little bit more lively again.”
The partnership has been given the green light from the local council on the proviso that the pub takes payment on its premises for the food.
Nick comments: “It works really well, the pub takes the order and brings it to us, we make it and deliver it about 15-20 minutes later, depending on how busy I am in the shop. The pub gives us a table number so we drop it to the table and walk away.”
The pub works around the chip shop’s operating hours so opens from 12-3pm and 5pm-11pm and remains closed on Sundays. Last orders for food are taken an hour before the pub closes.