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The Fox pub in Bulmer Tye determined to make 'new normal' work after resuming trade following coronavirus lockdown




As the hospitality trade continues its revival following the coronavirus lockdown, a Suffolk pub company says it is determined to make “the new normal” work, as the industry undergoes major changes to how it does business.

The Fox in Bulmer Tye welcomed back customers on Friday, operating with a smaller team of staff and no more than 40 people per service, alongside a range of safety measures to meet government guidelines.

The pub is one of five locations owned by Gusto Pronto, including The Crown in Hartest, to reopen this month, after work was undertaken to maintain and adapt the sites following more than three months of closure.

BULMER TYE: The Fox. The Fox, A131, Bulmer Tye, Sudbury. The Fox in Bulmer Tye has re-opened after more than three months of closure due to the coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: Luke Foster, Jess Sutarz and Andrew Bigg. Photo by Mark Westley. (38331782)
BULMER TYE: The Fox. The Fox, A131, Bulmer Tye, Sudbury. The Fox in Bulmer Tye has re-opened after more than three months of closure due to the coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: Luke Foster, Jess Sutarz and Andrew Bigg. Photo by Mark Westley. (38331782)

Roxane Marjoram, who owns Gusto Pronto with her husband, David, said the preparations at their other sites helped form the basis for relaunching The Fox, stating they are taking on a ‘less is more’ approach.

“It’s the first step on the way to things perhaps becoming more normal again,” she told the Free Press. “I don’t know when things will be back to what we would consider to be normal.

“The last few months have been pretty brutal. When we’ve got five sites that are closed, we do everything we can to keep overheads down, but we can’t reduce them to zero, so we have been losing money at every site.

“The face of hospitality may be changed in some ways. What I would hope is for the new normal to work for our customers and to enable us to trade profitably. Obviously, trading at lower levels, we can’t trade in the same way.”

Key to The Fox’s approach is a new set menu for meals and drinks, which will change every week, and a switch to full table service, to ensure patrons do not congregate at the bar.

Mrs Marjoram explained the changes are intended to ensure the pub can successfully operate with smaller numbers of staff, while also retaining their focus on hospitality.

“Obviously, things are going to be different, because we have smaller teams and less customers in the building,” she added.

“We’re really quite excited about our new set menu. It works on various levels. It enables us to offer our customers fantastic food that can be prepared by very small teams. That can be trickier with a much longer menu.

“It’s to help keep everybody safe. That’s what we’re focusing on. We want our teams to be safe and our customers to be comfortable coming back to The Fox.

“Not everyone will want to come out right now. But for those who are venturing out, we want The Fox to be a happy, enjoyable experience.

“Our new menu is prepared in relation to that, but we’re also excited about being able to offer something a little bit different.”

For more information about The Fox, call 01787 275727 or go online to thefoxbulmertye.co.uk.


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