Post lock-down service in open spaces

Scotland can learn from others to prepare for the “post lock-down service in open spaces”.

Many “Biergärten” (open air seating) have recently been opened in Munich. Some of them have a capacity of 8,000 guests. But new rules for personal distancing and infection prevention have been set for Biergärten users – some examples:

  • Guests with obvious health symptoms are not permitted to enter any establishment based on self-control and visual screening at the venue
  • All biergarten guests have to wear a mouth and nose cover – mandatory.
  • There is one entrance (usually there were several) and one exit to and from the seated area
  • At the entrance guest have to give their name and contact details (mobile number etc) at a (shielded) “reception desk” for future contact tracing
  • Guests are escorted to a numbered table (the table number, date and time are marked on the contact tracing form)
  • No more than 4 adults are allowed on a table of 8. Potentially 4 kids could join the adults at the table
  • Tables are 3 m apart
  • Minimum personal distancing must be 1.5m – lining up (cuing) at the entrance, self-service area, cashier, and toilet facilities is likely; distancing rules must be adhered to
  • Menu and food offers have been reduced. Food and drinks have to be collected by guests in the familiar self-service style – wearing facemasks
  • Where self-service is reduced, the menu items can be obtained via a QR code on phones at the entrance
  • Payments are done at shielded booths to protect the cashier. Contactless payments only
  • Pre-packed cutlery and condiments (salt/pepper, mayo, mustard, ketch up etc) are handed out at the cashier desk
  • Facemasks can be taken off at the table (- no good drinking a “Mass” through mouth covering nor with a straw…)
  • The duration to occupy a table may be reduced e.g. to 1.5hours. Tables and benches are then sanitised before the next use.

Customer Information

Customers are informed on placards and/or the websites about the new rules and measures taken to ensure the safety and health of staff and guests:

  • All staff have to wear mouth & nose cover at all times and are health screened on a daily basis
  • All staff have been trained in the new infection prevention methods and sanitisation rules
  • Security staff are checking that distancing rules are adhered to
  • Cleaning staff levels have been increased to service guest tables, self-service and cashier areas as well as the toilet facilities
  • Disinfectant dispensers are available at many hotspots
  • All cutlery and dishes are thoroughly disinfected before re-use
  • Guests must adhere to any instructions given by the establishment’s personnel
  • Guests are asked for their understanding of these “new normal” rules
BBQ ribs, Brezen and a "Mass"

Some thoughts for Scotland

Scotland can learn from Biergarten measures although the weather conditions may not be as favourable as in Munich (usually). Innovative solutions must be found for outdoor facilities to make use of the (hopefully) warmer but not necessarily dryer weather in the upcoming weeks after re-opening.

Establishments with outdoor facilities will also have to consider “economy of scale” matters and ask: is an outdoor venue viable with 8 tables instead of normally 16 – with possibly less customers? Can the same menu be offered and how many staff are needed to cover the service?

Similar rules will possibly apply once in-door facilities are open again.

Each business will have to make those decisions. Best wishes and good luck!

For any questions or support please contact me.