An Aberdeen hotel took almost 1,000 bookings in an hour ahead of the opening of its outdoor dining area.
The Chester Hotel on Queen’s Road has installed a 25-metre open-sided marquee to allow guests to eat and drink while observing social distancing.
Bookings began earlier today ahead of the opening of the Alfresco Gallery Bar on July 8 – and a total of 996 people booked to dine within an hour.
Within two hours, staff saw the number of bookings rose to almost 1,400 reservations.
It is expected that up to 70 guests can visit at one time while remaining at two-metre physical distancing.
However, due to the demand for tables, a second marquee was ordered today to extend the covered area further and to give greater capacity for bookings.
Our preparations to reopen safely continue. We’ll be announcing launch dates once the Scottish Government reviews when outdoor spaces can open. But, just how great does our open sided marquee look? More outdoor furniture is arriving by the day and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all back. You can still sign up for our newsletter which will tell you when bookings for our outdoor spaces will open here https://www.chester-hotel.com/about-us/newsletter/
Posted by The Chester Hotel on Thursday, 18 June 2020
The Chester Hotel has also introduced a new summer menu with a restricted offering, to allow its chefs to operate safely in the hotel kitchens.
General manager Stephen Gow said: “We’ve been working hard throughout lockdown to prepare for the day when we can reopen.
“But I don’t think anything has prepared us for the reaction that we’ve had today.
“We had been considering erecting a second marquee, and it looks as if we will put a second one in place to service demand.
“There will be a partnership between our team and our guests to make the new way of working a success.”
Guests will be asked to observe the hotel’s new procedures which include one way systems for clients and staff members alike, staffed toilets, two-hour reservation periods and cashless payment.
All areas will be sanitised with electrostatic fogging technology after every use.
More information about the Al Fresco Gallery Experience, including the summer 2020 menu and cocktail list can be found here