The Coachman Inn re-opens as a takeaway

5 May 2020

As pubs and restaurants across the country remain closed with the COVID-19 lockdown measures, The Coachman Inn, Hartford has bounced back with sold out evenings for their new takeaway menus.

Justin Hyam started with a popular Sunday roast takeaway last month and that was followed by what is now the first new fish and chip takeaway in Hartford for 20 years.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Trading Standards and Environmental Health Teams has helped Justin with his plans for re-opening.  

Advice was provided with the food safety and hygiene aspects and social distancing required for the temporary modifications. The team discussed the best ways to achieve contactless ordering and collection and on the use of disposable containers for all food and drinks so that nothing is returned. Food labelling and advertising was looked at including providing allergen information.

They were also advised to remove all seating and tables from the front of the building so that people were not encouraged to gather.

Help was also given with the weights and measures requirements for takeaway alcohol and the licensing requirements for age restricted sales still being met. The takeaway beer is only available to customers ordering food, and the beer must be consumed off the premises and not in the pub garden or car park.

The new service started with a Sunday Roast dinner takeaway followed by the new Wednesday to Saturday Fish and Chips that by the regular ‘Sold Out’ notices on the Facebook page are proving very popular.

Justin said: “Thanks to the Council for their advice, I wanted to firm up with them that the modifications I was making were correct as per existing and new legislation and guidance.

“I’ve painted numbers in the car park and when food is ready, I can deliver to the car. We’ve now stopped the roasts to concentrate on the traditional fish and chips as a takeaway until we can re-open fully. I believe this is the first fish and chip shop in Hartford for 20 years. We are constantly adding to the chippy menu to keep it both fresh and enticing.

“When we do re-open, our garden will be laid out for social distancing, with strict table/waitress service in operation, and a garden bar from the existing conservatory, to ease with speed of service. I have also done a lot of work inside for when we can re-open.”

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “I wish Justin and his team the very best wishes. We know that pubs and restaurants are going to be particularly hit by the social distancing regulations in an industry that has social at the centre of what they do. We have teams within Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Economic Development and Employment that are ready to help other businesses just like the Coachman find ways to re-open and provide a much needed service for residents.”

The Coachman now has a weekly menu cooked by Dean, their chef and packaged in microwave/oven proof packaging. The order line opens at 10am and closes at 7pm. The food collection serving times are 5pm to 8.30pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12noon to 5pm Sunday. 

Justin explains on his Facebook page that: “All the chippy takeaways are served hot (so no need for reheating). After you have made and paid for your pre order, all you have to do is turn up to The Coachman rear car park at your allotted time, park in a numbered bay (so we adhere to social distancing rules), call 07421263578 to let us know you’ve arrived, and what number bay you are in, and I’ll bring your food out to you.”

Following the early success there was a trial walk up service for the takeaway set up making sure a social distancing queuing area and waiting area are in place.

If you would like help or advice from Trading Standards and Environmental Health contact:

Dean (Chef) and Justin (taken before the lockdown) 

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