Coronavirus: Marks & Spencer cafes to reopen for takeaway
Marks & Spencer is to reopen 49 of its cafes across the UK from Thursday, the High Street retailer has said.
It took the decision to reopen for takeaway customers after operating social distancing and putting extra hygiene measures in its stores.
The retailer joins other chains reopening for takeaway customers.
Pret a Manger and Caffe Nero are reopening sites, while fast food chains McDonalds and Burger King are opening up drive-throughs.
Marks & Spencer cafes have been closed since 18 March, five days before the UK lockdown began.
M&S said the plans for reopenings came after a trial at five locations including at High Street Kensington and Maybrook Canterbury.
The 49 sites are across the UK, and include locations in Belfast, Dunblane and Swansea.
It said the company had prepared “rigorous guidance for colleagues and will have extensive signage for customers so they can pick up their coffee safely”.
Safety measures had been introduced, including perspex screens at tills.
The 49 locations are:
- Bankside (Marketplace)
- Bishop Auckland
- Boucher Rd Belfast
- Brent Cross (Marketplace)
- Bridge of Don
- Canary Wharf (Marketplace)
- Central Falkirk
- Clapham (Coffee Bar)
- Finsbury (Marketplace)
- Handforth Dean Conservatory
- Heathfield Ayr
- Hedge End (Coffee Bar)
- High St. Kensington (Coffee Bar)
- Kingston (Marketplace)
- Kingstown Park Carlisle
- Manchester (Coffee Bar)
- Marble Arch (Marketplace)
- Martlesham Heath
- Maybrook Canterbury
- Meole Brace Shrewsbury
- One New Change (Marketplace)
- Pantheon (Marketplace)
- Portfield Chichester
- Sears Solihull
- Stratford (Marketplace)
- Sweetbriar Norwich
- Victoria Cardinal Place (Marketplace)
- Waterside (Marketplace)
- Westbridge Park Stone
Several other UK chains are also starting to emerge from the lockdown.
From Monday, Pret a Manger had more than 100 shops open for takeaway and delivery through third parties.
Fast-food chain McDonalds opened 15 pilot restaurants in southeast England on Wednesday but is offering services only through delivery via Uber Eats.
It plans to reopen an additional 30 restaurants in the UK and Ireland, offering services through the drive-through lane from 20 May.
Burger King UK, meanwhile, has been reopening its outlets in phases since 16 April, and says it will have reopened 350 restaurants – three-quarters of its outlets – by the end of June.
Like McDonald’s, the burger chain is serving a limited menu. Customers have to order via food delivery mobile apps Just Eat and Deliveroo, even when visiting drive-through restaurants.
Coffee chain Starbucks will also from Thursday begin a phased reopening of 150 of its drive-through locations and some takeaway-only stores.
When Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown in March, he told restaurants and cafes to close, but exempted takeaway food places.
However, most chains such as Nando’s, KFC, Costa Coffee, Subway and Pizza Express chose to close completely, saying they wanted to protect the wellbeing of staff and customers.