Lockdown has had a huge impact on the hospitality sector across the UK, and here in Preston it’s been no different.Advertisement
Cafes, pubs and restaurants were ordered to close their doors in March to comply with government plans on restricting the spread of coronavirus.
While many takeaways have continued to trade throughout, some eat-in spots have adapted to provide takeout services – and the longer lockdown goes on, the more places we’re seeing reopen to do just that.
One of the most recent to open up again is city centre brunch spot Rise.
The stylish cafe, which was opened by Leigh Norton and Jack Swire in October last year, is now offering takeaways in a bid to survive lockdown.
Leigh said: “We were entitled to the £10,000 grant, which was helpful, but it only covers our overheads for a couple of months. The biggest disappointment has been losing the momentum with being a new venture, and not having our fantastic team around.
“For the future we hope things can return to normal, however in the meantime we have changed the set-up to allow takeaway coffee.
“We have moved the furniture so customers from the same household can come in to order, and we ask others to queue outside. There is also social distancing between the staff – we have just myself and Jack on at the moment and we keep our distance.
“We have an outside seating plan ready with adequate social distancing, and will move the indoor tables to comply with government guidelines too.”
Read more: Ten of the highest rated cafes in Preston
Ravenous in Cannon Street is another popular city centre spot to recently reopen on a reduced service.
Owner Louise Sey said: “We reopened four weeks ago when everything seemed to be settling down, and I realised a few people were doing takeaways.
“While we were closed I missed my customers and being in a routine. Now we’re back, I’m working on my own and my staff are furloughed.
“It’s hectic as there are a lot of key workers in the city, plus builders, people who live in the flats on Cannon Street, and people are driving in from industrial estates.
“I’m open on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday for telephone orders, until restrictions are lifted a bit more. I keep the door locked and give time slots for collection so I only have one person in the shop at a time.
“I keep checking the government advice for new rules, as it changes every day.”
Review: Preston lockdown can’t take away our takeaways
Some eateries have been more tentative. Rosemary on the Park in Moor Park is offering a once-a-week delivery service and plans to start a takeaway service from next month.
Owner Kelly Turner said: “I’m hoping to open as a takeaway sometime in June. There’s no fixed date yet, but I really want something up and running by 30 June, which was the day I originally opened two years ago.”
Other food spots, like Salvatore’s Ristorante in Penwortham, dived straight into offering a takeaway menu.
Daniele Baron, whose family owns the Italian restaurant said: “We adapted straightaway by doing collections and deliveries, and then when further government announcements were made we went to deliveries only.
“The whole community has been so supportive since lockdown started. We’re busy from Thursday to Sunday, and noticing customers further afield are asking if we can deliver to them. We’ve delivered over 6,000 meals to the local community in the past eight weeks.
“We have been able to keep four staff in full-time employment and two staff in part-time employment, which we are really pleased with. We have weekly socials with all our staff, including those furloughed, to maintain staff morale.”
Read more: Salvatore’s in Penwortham revamp complete
Mark Whittle from Preston BID says he has been impressed by the way these businesses have adapted to the pandemic situation.
He said: “Sadly, yet understandably, the operations of many of the city’s independent businesses have stalled due to the pandemic.
“It’s been great to see some businesses have had the opportunity to adapt and change their model in order to continue to trade.
“It’s clear now that many businesses are making plans to return, once the green light is given, and no doubt return stronger.
“City centre businesses of all shapes and sizes contribute hugely to Preston’s economy and employment market – they are going to need our support, more than ever, once lock down restrictions ease.”
Read more: New food delivery service aims to rival Uber Eats while keeping money in Preston
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines
Have you been missing your favourite eateries during lockdown? Where have you continued to order from? Let us know in the comments.