It’s been a tough year. Many of us have desperately missed the regular catch-ups with mates in our favourite local pub, the celebrations during special occasions or simply a casual drink after work.
But it’s the staff of these beloved establishments that have been the hardest hit. From being out of work for many months, to missing the chats with regular customers, it’s been hard for the many dedicated workers across the country.
This sentiment is clear in the latest #TogetherAgain video from Drinks Ireland, where we hear co-owner of Byrne’s Irish House in Co. Wicklow, Clodagh Doyle, explain how she missed her customers dearly and why she’s excited to see their faces again. She says:
"We have some lovely older men that come in. There’s one man that would come in every day. He’s back in the fold, and it’s nice to see him."
She adds, "The pub has been missed, we’ve been missed and we miss them."
The #TogetherAgain campaign is highlighting all the work that has gone in behind the scenes to get venues ready to reopen safely. With the support of drinks producers around the country, many venues have received significant improvements and upgrades through these investments.
In the latest video, Clodagh tells us how they have taken out some furniture to allow for social distancing, installed perspex dividers, provided hand sanitiser around the venue and introduced signage so everything is clear for customers. These measures won't be with us forever but while they remain, such upgrades ensure that we can enjoy our pub visits in the safest way possible.
Indoor hospitality has the green light to open from next Monday, which has come as a relief to many. Clodagh explains how the goal is to "get back to normal" and with the upgrades that venues like hers have received, she is looking forward to welcoming customers back inside.
The sun is shining, the mood is rising and with the return of hospitality, we are reminded to always respect and appreciate the staff that serve us, respect the guidelines and respect each other. We've had a weird year, after all. So let's make sure the return to the pub is an enjoyable and safe experience for everyone involved.