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.

How to maintain your pool table

Pool table maintenance is a matter of prevention rather than cure – the more you can do to avoid damage to a pub pool table, the more opportunity you’ll have to generate revenues by keeping it in regular use.

We know wear and tear is inevitable and in a busy pub, accidents do happen, so we’re always available to provide pool table maintenance and repair services when they’re needed.

But as far as possible, it’s best if you can keep your pool table in good condition on an ongoing basis, as this will make it more appealing to punters.

Here are some simple pool table maintenance tasks you can do in a matter of minutes, to keep yours looking great and working well.

1. Brush the baize

A quick brush can restore the appearance of the cloth on your pool table, with a light vacuum to pick up any bigger particles or crumbs.

Brush lightly in one direction, from the baulk end of the table (where the cue ball is dispensed) to the foot (where the black ball goes) once a week or whenever the table needs it.

Ironing should not be necessary on a pub pool table – it’s not a championship snooker table! – and we would suggest you avoid ironing the cloth unless you’re an expert.

2. Pool table covers

A good way to avoid dirt and debris on your pool table is to cover it when it’s not in use. Cloth covers protect against stains and spills, while a solid cover can give extra protection against impacts too.

Remember though, a pool table is not designed to be used as an ordinary table – so if you put a solid cover over it, still prevent people from using it to hold their food and drinks.

3. Legs and other wood parts

Any part of the table that is made of natural wood can be given a light polish if you want it to really shine.

Don’t spray polish directly on the table, as it shouldn’t come into contact with any non-wood parts – just apply it using a cloth and you should soon have sparkling pool table legs again.

4. Cue care

Finally, don’t neglect your pool cues, rests, triangle and balls, as they’re among the most important parts of the game.

Keep your cue tips straight and well-maintained, and provide plenty of chalk. Try to keep your balls together in matching sets too, especially if you have more than one pool table, as they may play slightly differently from different sets of balls.

For occasional pool table maintenance, such as replacing the cloth, redrawing the lines and dots, levelling the table or repairing the coin slot, just give Manco a call on 0161 870 7777 and we’ll send our experts out to take a look.

Manco’s maintenance services are ready to go

We know the past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for many of our customers, especially those in the hospitality sector including pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants.

As we move into the medium-term period of moderate social distancing with slightly relaxed restrictions, Manco Automatics are ready to provide routine machine maintenance, any required repair work and new installations to get hospitality businesses back up and running.

It’s impossible to know exactly what the coming months will bring, but that’s all the more reason to be ready for any opportunities that arise, and to generate revenues through as many streams as possible.

Machine maintenance

We provide machine maintenance as standard across all of the pub pool tables, fruit machines, quiz machines, jukeboxes and pull tab games that we supply.

Right now is the ideal time to get your fruit machines and gaming machines looked at, so they’re in full working order ready for when your premises are able to reopen.

If you have any questions about things you can do, such as cleaning your gaming machines more often, we’re happy to help with those too.

New installations

We’re taking enquiries about new installations of gaming machines, pool tables and jukeboxes, with a view to completing those as soon as possible and in line with the relevant restrictions.

If you have been forced to rearrange your premises in order to meet social distancing regulations, gaming machines could be one way to add an extra revenue stream without bringing punters within two metres of each other.

Again, we’re happy to help you decide where a quiz machine or pool table might fit – some options, like pull tab machines, can easily be placed in locations that don’t normally see much footfall.

Generate new revenues

Manco Automatics supply gaming machines on a profit-share arrangement, so at this challenging time we may be able to help you increase your revenues with minimal initial outlay required.

To find out more, or to enquire about any of our pub pool tables, quiz machines, pull tab games, jukeboxes and fruit machines, get in touch today by calling 0161 870 7777 or emailing us at

We know not all hospitality businesses will be ready to reopen immediately, but we can work with you to schedule any installation and maintenance work for the appropriate time.

Together we can move beyond these past few weeks and generate revenues to help the hospitality sector, and the UK economy as a whole, find its feet again.

Stay at Home Street Party!

There’s no denying that this is a challenging period for us all and one of the things that has helped us greatly in times of adversity is being able to support our friends, family, our communities and all essential workers who are fighting on the frontlines to care for those affected by the coronavirus.

However, not so long ago, there was another battle being fought which changed the course of history and ultimately the world as we know it – World War II.

‘Keep calm and carry on’ was the motto everyone lived by in supporting the brave, hard working men and women who made enormous sacrifices at home and abroad in the fight for freedom. It also signifies as an expression of resilience, which still rings true to this day and we would like to take some time away from our usual content to honour all armed forces and the Navy this 8th of May VE Day on it’s 75th Anniversary.

Our very own Chris Manion has agreed with his neighbours that they should hold a Stay at Home Street Party, where people will be able to raise money for the Poppy Appeal, deck houses with bunting, union flags and have picnics on their drives with wartime music playing in the background!

So, whilst you can’t celebrate at your local pub or social club this year, you can join in on the fun and take part safely from the comfort of your home! We ask you to raise a glass to commemorate the end of the war in Europe, as well as be reminded that our perseverance will not be in vain and life will return to normal soon!