When coronavirus struck, supermarkets closed cafés and counters to free up staff and space for essentials – but with the worst of the panic buying now over, M&S has said it’s letting people buy hot drinks again.
Marks & Spencer has said it will open 49 of its cafés to serve people hot drinks again from today.
Cafés were closed as panic buyers stripped shelves and shops needed to do all they could to make sure customers could get hold of essentials.
But with new measures in place to operate safely and restock shelves, M&S thinks it can start serving people again – with a few changes in place.
“Our local cafés will be opening for take away hot drinks only. The 49 chosen are all where the café (which may be branded ‘Marketplace’ or ‘Coffee to Go’) is located next to the Foodhall – meaning customers can pick up a barista coffee whilst doing their food shop,” M&S said.
But limiting offerings to just hot drinks is far from the only change M&S is making.
“The M&S café team has prepared rigorous guidance for colleagues and will have extensive signage for customers so they can pick up their coffee safely,” the chain said.
Measures in place include:
- Protective equipment – Perspex screens will be installed at each Café till
- Extensive hygiene processes – Staff will wash their hands at least every 30 minutes, with additional washing immediately after taking cash payments. Surfaces will be sanitised regularly, with particular attention paid to pinpads, as is done in the rest of the Foodhall
- Clear signs – Signs will remind customers about social distancing requirements and guide them on how to move safely through the hot drink-to-go journey. For example, floor markings will show customers where to stand if they need to queue in order to ensure they are 2 metres apart from the next customer
- One member of staff only – The same person will be working as well as taking the payments to help with social distancing
- Contactless payment – Is encouraged just like in the Foodhalls through extensive signage
- Contactless collection – Hot drinks and their lids will be placed in the hatch under the screen to allow the customer to them up and put on their own lid
Source: Daily Mirror