Sheffield pub staff gearing up for a busy weekend - and here's what they have to say about booking tables

The city’s pubs have had a constant stream of customers during their first week back, and are gearing up for an exceptionally busy weekend.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 9:44 am

After months of being closed, the city’s pubs sprung back to life on Monday, April 12, when the latest set of coronavirus restrictions were lifted and outdoor hospitality was given the go ahead to reopen.

Staff say they have remained busy throughout the week, and they are now gearing up for the first weekend of trading since November.

Manager of the Blind Monkey, Daniel Lawless, said the pub’s beer garden has been fully booked since they reopened. They do not have any spaces available this weekend and are approaching capacity for the following Friday and Saturday too.

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The reopening of pubs in Sheffield on April 12th 2021. Picture: Chris Etchells

Daniel described the first day back as “wild,” with groups of people “getting shots”; and said that while the subsequent days of trading have appeared quieter, takings have increased, due to customers ordering more expensive drinks such as double gins and large glasses of wine.

Jonathan Kay, General Manager of The Punch Bowl in Crookes, said they have had more trade than expected since reopening.

"For bookings, we are booked up on Friday and Saturday, so we’re expecting it to be fairly busy,” said Jonathan.

Just as with most True North pubs, around 50 per cent of the tables in the Punch Bowl’s outside area are allocated for customers without reservations; and Jonathan said because of their location on the main road in Crookes, they have been doing a lot of “passing trade.”

Those wishing to reserve a table are required to make a £5 deposit, and Jonathan said this has meant that 100 per cent of customers have honoured their bookings.

Megan Packham is the landlady at the Nag’s Head Inn in Loxley, where they are not taking advanced bookings, and has praised the behaviour of customers.

“People have been so understanding and so patient about having to wait. Everyone’s been following the rules, and have been signing in.”

She said The Nags Head made 187 meals for customers on Monday, and did “a lot more on beer,” which she said was “amazing”.

Providing the weather remains good, she is expecting the next month to be consistently busy and says she will “not be able to go on holiday anytime soon.”

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