How did you spend the lockdown period?
It’s been a very tough few months. Back in March, no one really understood the impact it would have and for how long. We have spent the last few months reviewing our business as a whole in great detail to find a way through this.
We tried to keep staff spirits up in the first few months, chipping in to social Zoom chats, chefs sent recipe videos showing the team what they could cook from their cupboards and, of course, a few cocktails to make at home too. There was even a Green & Fortune quiz – because what would lockdown have been without quizzing?!
It has been a more sobering experience recently, when we have had to make some very tough decisions as a business, as I’m sure all our colleagues in the hospitality industry have had to do. However, they have all been made with the sole purpose of ensuring we were in a position to re-open our doors as and when the guidelines allowed, which we are delighted is now a reality.
What did you plan for the re-opening? What kind of safety measurements will you be introducing? For example, will there be any caps on numbers?
We’ve naturally had to make changes, but will be keeping all the things that make Rotunda special. The menu is reduced, but it still showcases both beef and lamb from our farm, for example. There are Sunday roasts, brunch and some new cocktails on the menu too.
Creating a safe environment for our customers and staff is, of course, our priority, but we don’t want to compromise the hospitality and service we offer. We’ve missed our guests, and we want them to enjoy themselves and have some fun, so we’ll be welcoming them back with extra personality – some of our signage might be a little cheeky!
Safe distancing between tables does mean that we have a reduced capacity, but the large canal side terrace space is our secret weapon as we can spread tables out in this beautiful alfresco space. Other safety measures include limiting booking sizes to six guests outside or two households inside, single-use menus, cashless payments, a one-way and a revised queueing system.
What will be in place to maintain extra level of hygiene standards?
Cleaning procedures have been enhanced, we’ve trained all staff on relevant health and safety practices and staff temperatures will be checked on arrival. Sanitiser stations will be located both inside and outside.
What’s changed in your booking procedure? New operational times?
To start with we be opening from midday Wednesday-Friday and from 11am at the weekends. We are accepting walk-ins, but as ever we recommend booking in advance. We will also be asking all bookings to providing contact details for one person in the group – hopefully we won’t need to use these!
What are your summer offers? Anything special?
To start with, we’ll be opening from midday Wednesday-Friday and from 11am at the weekends. We are accepting walk-ins, but, as ever, we recommend booking in advance. We will also be asking all bookings to providing contact details for one person in the group – hopefully we won’t need to use these!
What did you miss most about Kings Place during the lockdown?
For sure, it was the buzz of a busy night! The lively atmosphere is what makes Kings Place so great, and while that won’t necessarily spark up quite yet, by getting people back in to Rotunda, we hope to enliven the building once again.
Plus, on those long summer days back in May, didn’t you just want a cold beer in the shade of the terrace, enjoying the canal washing past? If the weather plays ball, that terrace is the best oasis in London!
We have missed our customers, our staff and the interaction of hospitality, and while we will, of course, work within the guidelines for the safety of all, we cannot wait to get back to doing what we do best!