With time running out, Rossendale’s pub, bar and café owners are calling on the government for guidance about reopening.
Every day we’re asked by customers when we think the government will let us reopen, but with time running out to the suggested 4th July date, we and many of our fellow bar and café owners in the Valley are still in the dark about how and when it will be safe to open.
It’s been widely reported in the media that cafes and pubs with outdoor seating will be allowed to reopen first as the easing of lockdown restrictions continue. But then we have to remember that we are in Rossendale and not the Mediterranean and though we’d love to be able to rely on the weather to help our summer trade, the fact is we get on average 270 days of rain a year. So what happens when it rains? Do we just send customers home? Do we replace their drinks if they are outside in the rain? Are people allowed to eat outside our café on real plates and not takeaway cartons? Are customers allowed inside to use the toilet?
We are a small independent business and we want to make sure we operate under the correct rules. The council has given no guidance on what this actually means but reducing the 2m social distancing rule to 1.5m or 1m will help businesses to operate more productively.
Anna’s has been trading throughout the lockdown having pivoted the business to enable takeaways and deliveries. We have been able to offer takeaway lager in carry-home bottles as well as a range of wines and bottled beers. We also have a hot and cold food menu for takeaways. This has meant we can still be operational and serve our community effectively. The business has been well-supported by locals and our social media following has grown.
However, we are now asking for real, tangible guidance on how we can reopen safety for staff and for customers. We have installed hand sanitisers around the café but do we need to remove tables and install Perspex screens? We are a very small bistro so keeping to social distancing restrictions will be very difficult. Do we need an ordering app so customers can place orders to keep staff contact to a minimum?
We don’t have the kinds of budgets that the big restaurant chains do. What we really need is detailed information about what is expected of small businesses like ours in the hospitality sector so that we can plan. Small businesses like Anna’s haven’t got the money to just buy in Perspex screens or other measures when they may not be necessary. And with less than three weeks to go, time is running out. We are already getting our supply chains back up and running, rearranging rotas so that we can unfurlough staff and trying to second-guess what we need to be doing. There seems to be an expectation that bar owners can just walk in and turn the lights on and then start trading when the coffee machine warms up or the beer chillers are cooling. Let’s hope that they won’t leave it until the night before to tell us we can reopen.
A Note From Anna on COVID-19
13 April 2020
To our Anna's Family,
We’ve been thinking a lot about you lately – our customers, our employees and our greater communities. Whilst we are striving to run our operations largely as normal, your health and safety are our top priorities and at the heart of every decision we make. We believe it’s critical to do our part to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Here are some of the steps we are taking to protect everyone in this ever-evolving situation:
While the environment around us is uncertain, we take comfort in the fact that we have a world-class team and a compassionate and loyal community of customers. We stand ready to serve, and hope that our website and social channels can be a source of support, inspiration and solutions for you – because sometimes we all need a break from the news.
Thank you for being a part of the Anna's family,
Anna Federici-Preece | Partner
Taking Care of Our Team
While none of our staff can work from home (we are a customer facing, customer serving business), our delivery team (Anna and Robert) is up and running as our team continues to meet customers’ needs during these challenging times. We are proud to have a world-class team that is working quickly and safely to provide our customers with the food, drink and grocery items they need. Our no-contact experience has allowed us to deliver our products safely to our customers door using contact-free best practice - this includes payment over the phone, via PayPal or by card on your doorstep.
Protecting the health of our team as well as our customers, partners, and community is our top priority. We are taking the following measures to enhance safety and support for our teams:
In order to provide a no-contact delivery experience, we are now offering curbside and doorstep deliveries only. Here are some additional steps we can take together:
Here's list of the things we are stocking in our essentials section. Please remember that sometimes items may not be in stock but we'll try our best to keep everything in. Sometimes prices may vary too depending on what we buy, or the brands we get in so please bear with us. If there's something you need, why not ask our Grocery Angels to go fetch it for you. Just give us a bell and we'll add it to our next supermarket run - easy! and saves you the hassle of hopping in the car! Use our Ring & Reserve service and we'll put all your groceries together for you ready to collect or to be delivered. We really want to help you during this crazy, crazy times... Phone 01706 876662
Take a look through our full menu and choose your meal to takeaway or delivered to your door (free delivery on orders over £25, £2.50 for anything below). Vegan friendly options as well as gluten free too! Call us on 01706 876662 to order...
Back in November we attended the Rossendale Business Awards having been nominated for two categories - Accessible Business of the Year and Invest in Rossendale (new business of the year)! It was our first ever awards ceremony having only been open a matter of months. We lost out to The Old Library Cafe in Waterfoot for the Accessible Business Award but we were thrilled to be announced as the WINNER of the New Business of the Year award! I really have to work on being cool when winning awards because I was so delighted and thrilled with the award that I couldn't help punching the air!! It was all I had not to do cartwheels across the stage!
Joking aside, I was thrilled to have been nominated and how wonderful that the valley celebrates local businesses in this way!
Well we've reached our first milestone of 100 days! And what a ride it's been so far. We really want to thank every one of our customers who has walked through our door these 100 days for all the support and feedback you've given us. We are truly in awe of the love you give us and appreciate every single time you visit. Without you and your support we'd... well, we don't want to think about that!
Our menu is constantly evolving and tomorrow we will launch our new menus - drinks, gin, food and takeaway - all of them have had a makeover and we're proud of how they look! Same great food with a few additions. Plus you'll see a Daily Special as well as a Soup of the Day option for Autumn and Winter. Pop and see for yourself!
We've also started planning for Christmas and New Year and can't wait to share our plans soon. Watch this space! Speaking of which, to keep up to date with the very latest, don't forget to follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And please, share your pictures too - remember to tag us in!
So, here's to the next 100 days and many, many more 100 days after that!
Resident of Weir with her family, Anna's lifelong passion of food and good times has driven her to open this modern chic little bistro that has become the centre of life in the village!