Two of Beverley’s most popular venues have successfully re-opened, with a little help from East Yorkshire’s leading hygiene experts, Elliott’s Hygiene.
Chamas, in Wednesday Market, and the Tiger Inn, in Lairgate, opened their doors to customers on July 16. Both outlets worked with Hull-based Elliott’s Hygiene to put robust COVID-secure measures in place, designed to keep staff and customers safe.
John Naylor is head chef for both the Chamas Brazilian restaurant and its sister business, the Mirage cocktail bar and bistro. Mirage was able to re-open its doors as soon as the Government gave the green light, on July 4, but with Chamas there were some additional hurdles to clear.
John said: “Chamas took more thought, because it’s all about the theatre and atmosphere surrounding the food. The open, self-service buffet was one of the things our customers like best, and the service is all about different cuts of meat being presented to diners, table-by-table.
“Our challenge was to ensure we didn’t lose any of that ‘wow factor’ and ambiance that our customers value so highly, while also keeping them safe.”
“Our passadors are continuing to serve hot choices to the table and we’re still offering salad from but via a silver service approach, instead of self-service from the salad bar.
“Janette and the team at Elliott’s put an incredible amount of work into finding the right solution for us and, as always, nothing is too much trouble and they will stop at nothing to achieve the right outcomes.”
Less exciting, but vitally important in present circumstances, is the additional hygiene measures that sit behind the re-opening. And with a little help from the Elliott’s team, Chamas and Mirage are leading the way.
John added: “We’ve worked with Elliott’s for a number of years now and given the COVID-19 pandemic, their support and advice has been not just helpful but absolutely essential.
“They encouraged us to do a COVID-secure risk assessment and identify what issues we felt we had to overcome. Janette suggested a number of new things, in terms of equipment and processes, that would give us that important extra protection. One of those things was to introduce individually sanitised cutlery envelopes to eradicate any risk of cross-contamination.
“She also recommended a higher grade of hand sanitiser, that is guaranteed to wipe out any COVID germs. We’ve moved our tables around a bit to ensure maximum social distancing, and our waiting staff are also wearing visors as an added layer of reassurance.
“It was a bit of a minefield when it was first announced that we could look at re-opening, and we weren’t clear what we had to do and didn’t have to do, but Janette helped us navigate our way through that and select a number of options that suited our business. As a result, we’ve been able to re-open with absolute confidence and our customers have welcomed the efforts they can see we’re making to protect them.”
For Allen Slinger, of The Tiger Inn, opening again was also all about retaining the confidence of a loyal customer base. He’s established an impressive reputation for the Tiger as a grassroots community pub since taking over as manager the Punch Taverns-owned venue four years ago.
Allen said: “Opening again after four months was a big milestone. We’ve erected a marquee outside in our beer garden area so that people can keep dry while queuing, and maintain a safe distance from each other.
“We’ve also made more of our outside space to accommodate more people, as we’ve lost a bit of space inside by spreading our tables out more.
“We’ve got a number of screens up in certain areas of the bar and hand sanitiser stations everywhere. We’re maintaining a two metres-plus distance between everyone where possible, and a minimum of one metre-plus.
“We’re also limiting the number of people using our washrooms at any one time as well, via a traffic light system on the toilet doors. We’ve got red and green cards on there and are just asking customers to put the red one in place as they go in, and then put the green one back when they come out again.
“Then, we’re offering table service only for food and drinks and we’ve introduced a one-way system for getting around the pub.”
Other protective steps he and his team have taken are a new pre-booking system via their website and Facebook page, where customers need to enter their contact details in case the need for tracing arises, and visors for his serving team to wear if customers request it.
He said Elliott’s have been a fantastic help to them in getting this right.
“We’ve worked with Elliott’s for some years now and so we already had robust hygiene measures in place, but they’ve helped us to take those up a notch in order to comply with the extra-stringent COVID-secure requirements,” added Allen.
“Janette and her team were just brilliant in advising us on things like the types of sanitisers we need to be using, signage options and things like that. Janette came up with ideas we hadn’t even thought of and was really thorough as always.”
And all of this has enabled Allen and his team to properly enjoy the event of re-opening, without nagging doubts that something could go wrong.
He said: “Knowing that we have all the necessary procedures and equipment in place means our staff are absolutely clear what everyone’s supposed to be doing and what information we need to record to be in keeping with COSHH safe working standards, and therefore there’s no risk of things going wrong.
“We had a real sense of nervous excitement about starting up again and, so far, it’s panning out really well. We’ve had plenty of customers through the door and they’ve also been really supportive in asking what we need them to do to help us all make this work.”
Janette Elliott, finance and marketing director at Elliott Hygiene, said: “There was a huge sense of achievement for us in helping both the Chamas team, and the Tiger Inn team, to get up and running again. It was a privilege to support both businesses, offering them as much help and guidance as possible.
“Our ability to access a huge range of products is a real asset for clients like this, but I think the real key at the moment is the way our team are throwing themselves into supporting businesses to achieve their goals in the safest way possible under the COVID-secure guidelines.”