How will pubs and clubs reopen after lockdown?

There’s no denying that hospitality has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, but with pubs and clubs due to reopen from July 4th, there is some optimism that the sector will be able to bounce back relatively quickly.

Some challenges will remain for the medium term at least, but the recent shift from two metres of social distancing to ‘one metre plus’ means it’s much more feasible for pubs and clubs to open and operate in a profitable and, crucially, an economically sustainable way.

Here are some of the obstacles pubs and clubs will face, not only on day one but going forwards, as the industry looks to cater for customers who want to get back to a ‘new normal’ and enjoy some leisure time out of the house again.

Cash or card?

Contactless card payments have become standard in shops and supermarkets, as it’s better to avoid direct contact with surfaces – including PDQ keypads and handling cash.

However, many gaming machines are not allowed to accept card payments. Pubs and clubs should have plenty of coin ready for day one and beyond, including till floats and coin-op machines like fruit machines.

Remember different machines need different amounts of change – for example, fruit machines and quiz machines need to be ready to pay out prizes, whereas pool tables and jukeboxes do not.

Keep your distance

Social distancing will remain crucial for the foreseeable future, but the guidelines may change fairly often.

Ahead of the hospitality sector reopening on July 4th, the ‘two-metre rule’ was joined by ‘one metre plus’, which allows customers to be closer together if other mitigation measures are used.

That means avoiding direct face-to-face positions and using physical barriers like plastic or glass screens to separate different groups of customers.

Pubs and clubs can also control the movement of people around the premises, using methods like staggered arrival times, table service and careful management of how many people can use the bathrooms at any one time.

Bouncing back

Many parts of the economy will be looking to bounce back quickly, and after weeks of staying home, it’s likely many people will be yearning to get out of the house too.

For pubs, clubs and bars, that means there’s a huge opportunity to get revenues back to some kind of normal during the summer, combining drinks and food sales, gaming machines and any other revenue streams.

Spring was clearly a challenging time, but as the UK starts to emerge from lockdown, pubs and clubs that adapt to the changing social distancing guidelines can hopefully welcome regulars and newcomers alike, and start profitable trade once again.

If you require maintenance checks for your gaming machines as you get ready to reopen, here at Manco Automatics we take pride in working closely with all customers to ensure that their machines work at the peak of their ability. Call us on 0161 870 7777 and we’ll be available to help.

Tips on choosing the right sound system for you

A decent sound system can make a world of difference to the atmosphere in a pub, club or bar, as well as providing unobtrusive background noise in restaurants and communal areas in hotels.

Choosing a sound system for a pub or hospitality establishment can feel like a challenge if you don’t know what you’re looking for – so here are some top tips on where to start.

1. Integrated entertainment

A pub sound system is more than just a set of speakers. Think about how you will play music, and whether you want any other entertainment integrated into your audio system.

For example, a digital pub jukebox can play songs chosen by customers through speakers located throughout your premises, adding a valuable revenue stream.

But it can also go beyond that, by showing music videos on screens and offering other entertainment, like automated pub quizzes.

2. Surround sound

Surround sound can enhance the listening experience, but it’s important to think about speaker placement.

If you use a conventional surround sound speaker system in a pub or club, you risk having only the rear or ‘surround’ audio coming out of certain speakers.

For this reason, it’s important to make sure you get a professional sound system installed, with the speakers all balanced correctly in their various locations.

3. Playlist picks

The music you play matters, so have a selection of playlists ready to go, depending on who’s in your premises.

Digital pub jukeboxes now offer easy playlist control – you can ban inappropriate songs at times when children are around and raise the tempo later in the day.

4. Crystal clarity

A good sound system should offer clear audio, especially if you want to use it for voice content like pub quizzes and sports commentary.

This again affects the position of your speakers – make sure you don’t have any ‘dead zones’ where your sound system doesn’t reach, as you want full coverage throughout your premises.

5. Volume control

It should go without saying that volume control is important, but don’t forget about it once your sound system is installed.

Adjusting your music volume can have a huge impact on the ambiance in your establishment – a little lower in the daytime to allow conversation, and a little higher at night as the party groups arrive.

Just by changing the volume of the music and your choice of playlist, you can transform your premises in seconds, ready for the transition from daytime to night-time economy.

If you want to pump up the volume in your pub or hospitality establishment with a pub sound system or jukebox, then call Manco Automatics on 0161 870 7777 and we’ll be available to help.