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Caring For You

Caring for you is our bread and butter and, genuinely, what makes us happiest. To do that, the wellbeing of our team and guests has always been of paramount importance as we create first class environments to enable our people to excel at their jobs and put a smile on your faces.

We have been working extremely hard on how we do that in these new times in which we all find ourselves in response to Coronavirus.

Importantly, restaurants are experience-led and we have done much work behind the scenes to ensure that the experience of coming to Blacklock hasn’t changed significantly from the one you know and love. You can still expect hearty comforting food served by people who care and put a smile on your face but, naturally, there will be a few changes to how we do things, some of which may be discernible, but hopefully many not.

Our approach has been to do our very best by you and our teams and instill best in class guidelines (many of which go above and beyond government guidelines) whilst adding in some fun Blacklock touches. In doing that we have sought the advice of the leading safety specialists in our industry and with their help have created our response and policies for our teams and environments to ensure we have the highest standards of health and safety at this time.

We are conscious that this time has impacted everyone differently and each of us has different feelings and concerns regarding the virus. We have tried to create a broad solution that works for all but in that regard we are hoping to learn and mould things according to your feedback and if you have any specific concerns we are of course willing and ready to take care of that for you.

The below is a summary of some of the measures we are taking to make Blacklock safe for all.

BEFORE WE SEE YOU
  • All Blacklock restaurants have been commercially deep cleaned and air conditioning units have been fully serviced prior to our re-opening and will continue to be cleaned by our specialised cleaning contractors with increased requirements and measures.
  • We have enhanced our cleaning checklists and protocols throughout the restaurants to be carried out by our teams before, during and after service focussing on multiple touchpoints.
  • Tables will be cleaned and sanitised after every guest, with extra focus on chairs, armrests and banquettes. Anything that may have been handled by guests will be sanitised.
  • In order to ensure your comfort, we are now taking reservations for any size of group up to a maximum of 6 at any time of the day.
  • Walk-ins will always be welcomed warmly, but booking is recommended for those particularly busy times. We use Walk In App to allow guests to join waiting lists remotely in a contact free manner. Limits have been placed on reservations to avoid queues forming at our front doors and waiting areas. Our hosts will help control the flow of guests in and out of the restaurant.
  • For now we have gone cashless and encourage contactless payments at tables having increased our contactless limits to enable this. Card payment machines will be sanitised before and after each use.
  • If you (or any of your guests) have any symptoms which could be related to coronavirus, please  follow government guidance and call ahead to cancel your booking.
  • Please kindly arrive on time for your reservation. Our bar areas will be a dispense area at the beginning so whilst we would love to serve you a drink before and after your meal, we will need to do this at your table.
  • Per government guidance, we will be operating a guest recording system to retain all guest details for 21 days to assist with Test, Track and Trace.
WHILE YOU’RE WITH US

Our approach to service and hospitality remains as it always has been – professional yet warm, personal and engaging. We’ll be just as welcoming as you remember, but our service style will alter slightly – taking more of an observational role to respect your space but still on hand for everything you need, including wheeling round the cocktail trolley.

We have redesigned our bar, restaurant and restroom areas to ensure safe socialising and placed suitable markings through the restaurants to guide you and our teams with some tables reserved for the safety of our guests and marked accordingly. Our common walkways will have a one way direction where feasible and signage will be in place to assist.

We have re-trained all our teams on working at safe distances and enhanced hand washing which will be required every 30 minutes and after every interaction and touchpoint.  We have reduced the number of team required on shift at any one time and will work in bubbles to limit team interactions per table wherever possible.

Additional wall mounted hand sanitisers have been placed in key areas around the restaurant. These can be found at all entrances, bathrooms, outside our kitchens and other designated areas available for both team members and our guests.

We have sourced recycled menu paper to provide single use menus for each guest’s experience. We will then recycle each menu to give it another life after use in the restaurant as part of the packaging for Blacklock at Home.

We have introduced Blacklock Sign Language to help replace certain key communications between team and guests.

Face masks will be available for guests leaving the restaurants should you require them for your journey home.

BEHIND THE SCENES
Safe Working for Our Teams
  • Our teams have been trained on the importance of keeping a safe distance from each other and honour a 1m+ policy when working including during break times.
  • Working patterns have been adjusted to stagger start and finishing times to avoid congestion in our communal areas including the staggering of breaks and family mealtimes.
  • Our dining areas will be divided into bubbles with each bubble will be staffed by one team member and the guests within those bubbles served by that allocated team member.
  • Kitchens will be divided into sections to ensure only one team member is working in his/her station, and at any opportunity, side by side working is encouraged as opposed to face to face.
  • The Team will also be divided into working pods with each pod working separate shifts and rotas to keep crossover among the team to a minimum.
  • Face masks will be provided to all team members and can be worn at each individual’s discretion.
Team Health and Well Being
  • We have conducted a full team survey before re-opening to help us identify those who may be vulnerable or living with someone who is and all team members will be asked to complete a daily wellness survey before starting work.
  • Any team member who can work from home is encouraged to do so.
  • We have reassessed supplier delivery engagement and put in place enhanced practices for our team and suppliers.
Health and Safety Compliance
  • All team members have completed an up to date Food and Safety Level 2 certificate, which is compulsory for all new and returning team members. All members of the senior team have been awarded advanced Food & Safety certifications.
  • We will be constantly reviewing our COVID-19 policy and publishing updates on a monthly basis.
  • All Blacklocks will have full inspections and audits through our independent consultant Food Alert to ensure the highest health and safety standards at all times.

 

 

It's been a long few months for everyone. Our hair is all a little bit longer, not to mention a little greyer in my case, we've missed dearly the buzz of working in restaurants (hopefully as much as you have missed filling them) and so we are now thrilled to be able to fire the grills back up and hopefully welcome you back warmly very soon as follows!

Shoreditch 9 July
Soho 23 July
City 1 September

Looking after you and our team is always our main priority. For more details on how we have adapted for these new times, do check out Caring For You.

We very much look forward to welcoming you back to Blacklock soon.

Gordon and all the team.