Pub staff 'run off their feet' during Euros campaign

Michelle Payne, landlady at the Ingate Pub in Beccles. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

Michelle Payne, landlady at the Ingate Pub in Beccles. Photo: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

Staff at a popular pub have been "busier than ever" throughout Euro 2020 so far.

Michelle Payne, landlady at the Ingate, said her team have had to get everything "down to a fine art" to keep customers safe and having a good time.

The pub's Euros set up includes five TVs outside, as well as 11 inside, while they have hired seven new members of staff to deal with demand.

The Ingate Freehouse in Beccles. Photo: Google Maps

The Ingate Freehouse in Beccles. - Credit: Google Maps

She said: "We want everyone to enjoy it and we have been run off our feet.

"We live with the dread that England will not score and we are as anxious as everyone else, but as soon as they score it is a brilliant atmosphere to be in.

"On the flip side, we have to make sure everyone is safe."

With Boris Johnson's announcement earlier this month that 'freedom day' would be delayed by up to four weeks until July 19, the pub will have to continue with their current approach throughout the remainder of the tournament.

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Mrs Payne said: "The Euros should be brilliant, but Covid rules are a nightmare for everyone in the industry.

"I have more staff than ever and we're all more tired than ever. It's exhausting.

"A lot of what we have been asked to do, such as no shouting, is impossible, but we have to do it to the best of our ability.

"We have been checked by the police every game so far and they are happy with what they have seen."

Last year, the pub spent more than £26,000 on refurbishments inside and out in a bid to keep customers and staff safe once pubs could reopen following the first national lockdown.

Mrs Payne said: "We have had to change the layout of the TV screens.

"We have lots of outdoor space and everyone can always see a TV.

"It is a shame the Euros are being held when Covid rules are still in place, but it will be a testing time when they are gone as we will have to change everything back to how it used to be.

"We have customers who would love to sit at the bar again, but we will also be keeping table service."