Southwark Council launched the pilot project on 14th September 2020 to help provide reassurance to customers that local premises are safe to visit.

Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen’s safety advisors Number 8 Events Ltd. established a comprehensive COVID secure plan, and immediately responded to Southwark Council’s invitation to arrange an inspection by their Environmental Health Officer (EHO).

Following a thorough inspection by Southwark’s EHO, Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen – which is situated on Bermondsey Street – was the first venue to be awarded Southwark Council’s official COVID-Compliant Accreditation.

“This is a critical time for hospitality venues and to secure this accreditation from Southwark Council is excellent,” says safety advisor Wes Pierce, Managing Director of Number 8 Events.

“Throughout the past few months, we’ve worked with Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen to ensure that their COVID secure plan and risk assessment were robust and comprehensive.

“One of the key pieces of advice we gave them was to consult with staff using the new procedures to ensure they worked well and that everyone understood why each measure was in place. The feedback from the EHO was very complimentary about the measures we’ve taken.”

The key challenges faced by Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen included the management of a one-way system through the premises, creating working bubbles of staff, establishing a culture of compliance with patrons through staff communications and supported by easily understandable posters and signage, and appropriately-positioned distanced tables and chairs throughout the venue.

A concise contingent and risk plan was developed and put in place to proactively deal with any unfortunate circumstances, such as if anyone became ill on-site or developed a positive COVID test following their visit.

Further initiatives included QR menu codes and an efficient table service was implemented. Due to the increase in social distancing the venue needed to increase the number of toilets to deliver a safe and orderly queuing system. As such an additional outdoor block of toilets was delivered further reducing the need to queue.

Following their inspection, the EHO commented on the high standard of bespoke paperwork, processes, overall implementation and operation of the venue. They immediately awarded accreditation to Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen, ensuring that customers can socialise there confidently.

“Our main priority is the safety of our customers, and it’s wonderful to be able to reassure them that we’ve achieved this high standard,” says Manager Liam Murphy. “Number 8 Events helped us ensure we are following the Government’s guidance to the letter.

“Even when the regulations changed again on 22nd September, the impact on us was minimal as we’d already got extra measures in place to keep our customers and staff safe.”