Print work ramps up as hospitality prepares to reopen

Pubs and restaurants are putting new measure in place. Image BB&PA
Pubs and restaurants are putting new measure in place. Image BB&PA

Print firms have reacted to the latest relaxing of lockdown rules with new product categories and fresh orders coming in as a wide range of businesses get ready to reopen on 4 July.

Yesterday (23 June) prime minister Boris Johnson announced new social distancing guidelines of “one metre plus” in venues such as pubs and restaurants where it is not currently possible for people to be 2m apart.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and hairdressers are among the businesses that can reopen from 4 July providing appropriate measures are in place.

Print firms across the UK are reporting an uptick in work as companies prepare to welcome customers again.

Wallace Print managing director Gary Wallace, who has printed huge volumes of social distancing floor graphics, said: “I’m just about to post the fact that we have just fulfilled 50,000sqm of floor graphics and the one metre reprints are flooding in. Of course we must stay safe but God we love Boris!”

Items such as visors with bespoke branding, and pull-up transparent banners for use as separation screens, are among products that are proving popular.

Solopress tweeted that it had just introduced new clear protective roller banners targeted at salons and gyms, when they are allowed to reopen.

Nottingham-based Fast Graphics also described clear banners as “a great, low-cost and simple idea” as a shielding solution.

Trade supplier Route 1 Print has put together a ‘Reopening Toolkit’ for resellers to use as a selling tool to their end clients.

The British Beer & Pub Association said the news was “a welcome first step on a long road to recovery” and would allow up to 28,000 pubs to reopen.

“Whilst the government hasn’t given us the three weeks minimum notice we asked for to get our pubs ready for reopening, thankfully as an industry we already started our preparations to ensure our pubs were ready to open when we were given the green light,” said chief executive Emma McClarkin.

“It’s great to see the Government adopt the WHO guidance and the examples of many other countries across the world who’ve safely reopened their hospitality sectors using one metre as their safe social distance measure.

Among the measures being considered by some pubs and restaurants are disposable menus, which could also result in additional print volumes on an ongoing basis.

The new government guidance can be found here. Most businesses are now allowed to reopen with the exception of so-called "close proximity" venues, which includes nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas.