News & Insights: How to reopen after lockdown

Helping the UK Hospitality industry bounce back

Reopening your business

The past year has been hard for ever business, the Hospitality & Catering sector has been one of the worse hit sectors. With the roadmap now set out, it is now time to start planning your next steps.


Start thinking about the menu you will offer, customers will understand if it is a shorter menu to allow for social distancing and keep food waste under control. Have a look at your menu, pick good selling items but also the high GP items. Don’t pick the lowest GP items as the reduced menu. 


Over lockdown, there has been trends towards home comforts. This might not continue after lockdown, but if it does, do include these on your menu.

No shows

Consider for the 1st month, whilst you start to rebuild to take deposits for tables. No shows can be very costly, if you communicate it well, guests will understand. With hotels, you pay a deposit, it is just the same. 


The lead time for some items could be 3-4 weeks for suppliers to get going again, some might be 6 weeks. As soon as you know your menu, do let the suppliers know

Regular customers

Do you have a regular client list? If so, why not do a VIP night to invite these on the 1st night of reopening. This would go down very well

Back up plan for Covid

There will sadly still be some cases, have a back up plan so you can still trade. The best is to have multi skilled staff, so others can step in when needed

Have a Covid safe place

Many companies have already done this, back in the summer. Do have a plan on how you use your space.


Having the right senior team in place is so important, this could be the difference between bouncing back or not. Having Head Chefs, Sous chefs, Restaurant Managers, Bar Managers who are all on board to drive it forward, is critical. If you think you might need to recruit, the team here at HtE Recruitment could support you. We cover both Management and Chef recruitment. 

Create a cleaning plan

You have been closed for months, have a deep clean plan in place. Make sure all your guest bedrooms have no dust, the sheets are clean and windows are clean etc etc. Bring your team in a few days earlier to do a deep clean will be so important. 

Think strategically

Whilst you reopen, do think about how to get the best revenue. This could be only allowing 2 night stays at a weekend. This could be to not allow a 7pm table, to do a 6pm and 8pm table. to put a time limit on tables. There many little things you can do, that will help.

Go social

Tell people your plans, sell the dream about visiting you or eating your food. Do a count down, show case the location, show case the food you use. 

Can our team support you to reopen? 

We have been recruiting Chefs and Managers for 14 years, we are committed to this sector and we have special rates and options available for April – August 2021 to support this vital UK sector to reopen. Please call Rick to discuss, how we can support you.


  • Write a plan for the Spring and Summer trading period
  • Work out the revenue required
  • Write a menu
  • Talk with suppliers about the menu
  • Clean the beer pipes
  • Order the Gas for the kegs
  • Order your beer, soft drinks and wine
  • Check the sell by dates on products you have in storage
  • Order food items
  • Plan a prep day for food
  • Plan a deep cleaning day for the kitchen and front of house
  • Guest bedrooms, plan a deep clean and check the sell by dates on the biscuits and coffee/tea
  • Open the reservations system and the dates
  • Set the prices and rates
  • Go social, ensure you post on your social platforms
  • Do a training day for staff, its been a long time
  • Plan your rotas
  • Talk to your staff, find out who are coming back
  • Advertise if you have any key job gaps and speak with Recruitment Agencies like HtE, to see if they can support you in Recruitment
  • Order change for the tills
  • Order your bin pickups
  • Order your plants and flowers, you will reopen in the spring. 
  • Order the table cloths, guest linen for the rooms
  • Check your staff uniform, do they still fit?, if not order new ones
  • Get systems in place, your team will be out of practice. Ensure you have flow systems in place

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