Dobbies Garden Centres have said they are gearing up to reopen its 68 restaurants across the UK.

The news comes after Dobbies reopened its stores across the UK in May, with strict social distancing measures in operation.

Now, in the next phase of easing restrictions, customers will be able to enjoy freshly-made scones, fish and chips, toasties, and hot and cold drinks.

Which ones will reopen - and when?

In light of Government advice, here's when the restaurants will reopen:

  • July 3 - Northern Ireland (3 July)
  • July 4 - England 
  • July 13 - Wales
  • July 15 - Scotland

Scotland will open outdoor seating areas for takeaway from July 6.

What new safety measures will be in place?

The safety of team members and customers remains Dobbies’ number one priority, and a number of additional social distancing measures have been put in place.

There will be a dedicated Safety Champion in each restaurant who will be solely responsible for ensuring all measures are being followed.

The Safety Champion will be on hand to answer any questions and ensure team members and customers feel safe at all times.

In line with Government guidance, Dobbies say team members will be required to collect contact information from customers for NHS Test and Trace.  

Hampshire Chronicle:

How will the new food service work?

Tables and chairs have been laid out in the restaurants to ensure there is a safe space between diners.

There will be a combination of table and counter service across the restaurants.

In counter service restaurants, customers will select their food then collect their covered meal from a dedicated food collection area, along with cutlery, wrapped straight from the dishwasher.

Self-service coffee machines will not be in use, but baristas will be on hand to serve hot drinks. 

Dobbies will also be continuing with rigorous hygiene routines, with all trays and tables sanitised after use.

Each restaurant has also taken additional steps when working with suppliers, with contact free and sanitised deliveries.

What have Dobbies said?

Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “Following the successful re-opening of our garden centres from May, we are well-placed to restart our restaurant operations.

"Customers will be able to enjoy all of their Dobbies’ favourites again, including our fresh bespoke blend coffee and famous scones.

"The safety of our team members and customers remains Dobbies number one priority, which is why we have introduced the new role of Safety Champion.

"Not only do we want customers to feel safe, but we want them to have an enjoyable experience. 

"We look forward to welcoming customers back into our restaurants and would like to thank our team members and customers for following the safety measures we have put in place in our stores.”

Dobbies say they are continuing to follow Government guidelines across all stores, with a limited number of customers permitted in store at one time.

A queuing system remains in operation outside, with markers in place to help maintain social distancing.

Hand sanitising and trolley cleaning stations are available at the store entrances.

Protective screens remain installed at tills and customers are asked to pay with card or contactless.

Appropriate PPE has been provided for staff members who are also receiving training and regular briefings on how to keep themselves and customers safe, with rigorous hygiene routines continuing throughout the stores.