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Oakman Group to retain table-only service from Monday across 35 pubs

From Monday 19 July, a trip to the pub or favourite local restaurant will become almost the same as it was before March 2020. But while people will no longer be legally required to wear face masks or socially distance, the Prime Minister has encouraged businesses and individuals to proceed cautiously.

The Oakman Group, one of the UK's fastest-growing pub groups, already had a reputation for providing a cheerful and homely environment, driven by a Mediterranean lightness of touch that is a feature of both their menus and many of their pubs.

With the priority for the 35-strong group being the health and safety of their customers and staff, from 19 July they will continue to provide table-only service across all their pubs, with staff taking and delivering every table's order.

Oakman, which provided the Cabinet Office with advice on pub biosecurity, will retain all of its existing Covid measures including screens between tables, hand sanitiser stations and high-intensity and regular cleaning regimes. Facemasks will not be insisted upon, but Oakman expects customers to respect each other’s space.

Oakman’s style of cooking fresh food in open theatre kitchens means that their ventilation systems naturally create sufficient airflow that reduces risks from aerosols. But with large covered outside dining spaces, customers have the option of al-fresco dining.

Oakman has taken the opportunity to refresh many of their gardens and terraces that provide over twelve acres of beautiful outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed across most of their pubs.

Oakman Group’s CEO, Dermot King, said, “We are fortunate to have space for our customers to make themselves feel at home whether it’s in a garden, on a terrace or beside a canal or river.

'Our pubs are large and with screens between tables, and our continental-style table service, our customers can be assured that they are in safe hands. Our signature cooking method has been based on a combination of charcoal and wood-burning ovens.

'Our extraction systems and airflows are therefore so much more robust than the majority of other restaurants – however big they may be.'

Alex Ford, Managing Director of Oakman Inns, said, 'Our continental-style table service throughout our pubs is a quicker and more relaxed method of being served. We ask that our customers respect others, including our team, and give everyone some space. Other than that – very little has changed.

'Our priority always has been and remains to ensure that our customers get a great service in a great environment delivered by a great team. We've got the space to breathe safely again, and we hope you'll come and share some of your summer with us.'