Posted: 15.10.20 at 09:11 by Derek Davis
The Brantham Bull's popular pup desk scheme has attracted attention nationwide, with national broadcaster Jeremy Vine featuring the initiative this morning.
Paul and Gemma Chenery appeared live on Jeremy Vine's eponymous Channel Five programme just after 10.15, with barmaid Zoe doing the honours with her phone video to explain their initiative.
The Bull offers a designated table for those who work from home but want to get out, and for £10, the worker gets unlimited tea or coffee, free wi-fi and a lunchtime baguette.
Vine, who also presents a Radio Two lunchtime programme, and Eggheads on BBC2, was supportive of the pub desk scheme, which was designed t help people working from home get out for the sake of there mental health, but he also allowed a contrary view.
Gemma and Paul came across in a really positive way and a number of pre-booked desks were being used, along with diners enjoying breakfast in the restaurant.
"It was a bit scary," admitted Gemma. "But Jeremy gave us the chance to get our points across and it seem to go down well. Jeremy supports it and think it is good idea.
"It seem the majority of people do see it as good idea, so we won't be stopping it because one or two don't like it.
"Pubs need to be inventive, added Gemma. "We are very much a food led pub and just as we are building a good atmosphere with a full restaurant at 9.30 in the evening then people have to leave at 10pm.
"The thing is you don't know where they are going or what they are doing when they leave.
"The pub desk, tea or coffee and cake, and our breakfasts are helping us."
Nub News reported the Brantham Bull pub desk story nearly two weeks ago.
Since then Paul and Gemma have had fabulous response
Gemma said: "It has been really popular with a lot of bookings. We are finding people are booking not just for the morning, but afternoons as well.
"One our regulars, Libby, held appraisals here and her company booked a meeting in the Smugglers room, away from the office.
"We have also noticed how people are interacting too, for example, yesterday two guys just started chatting to each other from their separate pub desk, and that is partly what it is about. Some adult conversation with real people."
Gemma's pub desk idea has caught on elsewhere with landlords getting in touch with her and Paul.
She said: "I has someone from Liverpool messaging and saying they were planning to do it, then anther pub in the west country, and they tagged us on their Facebook page to say 'thank you to the Brantham Bull'.
Concerns that people going to pubs to work will spread the Covid infection have not been borne out by figures in Babergh, which Brantham is part of in the bottom end of the Shotley peninsula, in Suffolk.
"What Boris is saying is scaring people, again," said Gemma, "but with Brantham and Suffolk being one of the lowest affected areas, people do feel safer here
"We have worn mask and had the six people rule right from the start when we reopened at the end of July, and there is sanitiser everywhere and a strict routine."
Staff help with app, if customers need it, but also do old-fashioned paper an open and the couple understand those who prefer not to come out.
Gemma added: "There are people who do not want to come out. or they just rather get takeaway, and that is fine, we do that.
"Whatever you do, someone will moan but that is fine. We feel we have done everything we can and have been told we are among the safest in the area, and really could not do anything more."