There’s much we don’t know about Covid, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be with us for a while. So with the segue into autumn and the opening of our Christmas booking diary, we thought we’d dedicate this blog to the safety measures that Chapter One has put in place to protect both our team and our guests. With all the uncertainty, reassurance about safety measures is one thing we can offer.
Safety in our DNA
It all starts with the team; their safety ensures that of others. Daily temperature checks are the responsibility of resident prep chef and master butcher Gavin Cribbin, who has been performing the role of staff nurse with glee, wielding the thermometer with the same skill as he does a kitchen knife. The use of face masks and hand sanitiser is now second nature, too. Luckily this is an industry where close adherence to health and safety protocols is very much in our DNA, so the transition to a different set of behaviours has been smooth.
Discreet yet effective
The more obvious changes relate to our customers, though we’ve made every effort to make them as discreet as possible. And they start from when you book, online or over the phone.
♦ all contact details are retained as we use electronic booking. So no need for notebooks when guests arrive. GDPR rules are strictly enforced.
♦ hand sanitiser is widely available throughout the restaurant, starting at the front door
♦ all guests have their temperature taken at reception via a freestanding, contactless thermometer that resembles a large iPhone and is the closest we’ve come to AI here at Chapter One. It hasn’t happened yet, but if someone’s temperature is high, it flashes red. Apparently!
♦ our tables were already well distanced, but we removed a number in order to maximise circulation space. You know it’s working when your regulars hardly notice the difference.
♦ extensive cleaning and sanitising is carried out between service so all furniture and surfaces are spotless.
♦ instead of hard-copy menus, we use QR codes. Those without a smartphone can use laminated menus which are sanitised between use.
♦ our Midleton room (formerly the Jameson room), which normally can sit up to 12, has slid seamlessly into the role of private dining room for 6, and is already proving popular as a very comfortable alternative to the chef’s table, with a dedicated server, the same intimate atmosphere, and, of course, a tour of the kitchen. Being completely private and separate, it’s the natural first choice for any group with members over 70 or who might be in a vulnerable cohort.
Dining in seclusion
One dining space which has really come into its own is our Demi-salle, which in her feature on the restaurant a few years back, Irish Times food editor Marie-Claire Digby described as a ‘racy space with a whiff of bad behaviour and good liquor”.
Its secluded location is key. The demi-salle (seats 4-6) is a few steps down and away from the main restaurant, so has always been popular with those who like to dine in privacy, but within earshot of the buzz and banter of the main room.
Covid safety measures are changing all the time, and as things continue to evolve, we will too. And if you have any questions or concerns, just ask. We look forward to continuing to welcome guests here at Chapter One.