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The practical guide to opening

So the time has come and you're ready to get your site operational once again. To help your reopening be as smooth as possible, we’ve created a list of things that you may need to be do beforehand.

Carry out maintenance and get equipment up and running

Notify your landlord, insurer, suppliers, staff and customers

Prepare your stock and get the site ready to serve

Have a good clean and set up hand-washing stations

Run final checks and ensure you're fully compliant



A week before reopening

  • Review the government guidance here.
  • Assess the site for any maintenance needs.
  • Take a stock check and place your orders.
  • Give notice to a landlord, insurer or supplier that needs to know you’re reopening.
  • Inform your customers that you will be reopening.
  • Start taking bookings.
    Plan how you will keep a record of visitors as required.


The opening week

  • Make a note of all meter readings.
  • Turn on water and gas mains.
  • Open taps and allow water to run gently for 10 minutes.
  • Check gas supply is reaching kitchen equipment.
  • Turn on heating and boiler, check the hot water and radiators after two hours.
  • Once heating is off again, turn on and check air-conditioning.
  • Clean fridges and freezers and turn one on at a time.
  • Check back to see if fridges have cooled to the required temperature.
  • Clean glass and dishwashers, turn on and allow to start up.
  • Run three empty glass or dishwashing cycles and return to regular use.
  • Clean the ice machine, turn on and leave to fill.
  • Turn on other electrical items one by one and test.
  • Make any changes needed to the layout of your venue, for example, spacing and moving tables.
  • Check soap dispensers and water temperature.
  • Test fire alarms and security systems.


The days before reopening

  • Move stock back to the fridges and back bar.
  • Return cash and valuable items back the site.

Reconnect and clean beer lines

  • Turn the cellar cooling on.
  • Turn on the beer coolers and gas system.
  • Clean the beer lines in line with your standard process.
  • When the lines are clean, flush with water.
  • Connect the couplers to kegs that are in date.
  • The beer cooler will be ready to dispense at the correct temperature within 2 hours.

Reconnect and clean post-mix equipment

  • Connect in-date syrups for each brand.
  • Turn on the water supply to the equipment.
  • Turn on your CO2 supply to equipment.
  • Turn the equipment on at the electrical supply.
  • Flush through 2 litres, or 4 pints of each brand
  • Carry out a taste test and ensure carbonation levels are acceptable.
  • The system is now ready for regular use.

Perform a comprehensive clean down of the premises

  • Perform a thorough clean of your venue.
  • Wipe down all bottles and all surfaces.
  • Wipe draught taps with warm soapy water.
  • Sanitise bar and tabletops, allow them to air dry.
  • Run all equipment through the glass/dishwasher.
  • Run through a typical kitchen deep-clean.
  • Remove any dirty cloths and linens for washing.
  • Empty all bins, give them a rinse and put all bags in the bin.


The final few things

  • Clean your outside areas.
  • Remove any notes from your door.
  • Update your website and online listings with new hours.
  • Update answering machine, social media and email out-of-office.
  • Wipe menus and table caddies, keeping these away from customer areas.
  • Set up a hand-washing or hand sanitiser station for customers.
  • Check your complying with all necessary restrictions.
  • Define an isolation area, ideally an empty room, staff room or office, to take anyone immediately to in the event they feel unwell once you’ve reopened;
    • Ensure this room can be closed off.
    • Ensure this room contains tissues and hand-washing facilities.
    • Ensure this room has bins and a first-aid box.


The day of reopening

  • Put out any outside furniture or equipment.
  • Ensure all surfaces, handles and items are wiped clean.
  • Run through new hygiene and safety procedures with staff.
  • Place a notice at the entrance to your venue detailing your actions and any restrictions in place.
  • Create your NHS 'Test and Trace' QR code check-in signs and place at entrances.