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Pubs at the heart of the community go the extra mile during lockdown

April 2020

A collection of Dorset-based Hall & Woodhouse Business Partner (tenanted) pubs have adapted their usual service to support the local community during the Government enforced lockdown.

The Inn at Cranborne, The Crown Inn at Marnhull and The Cock & Bottle in Morden, all part of Hall & Woodhouse’s Business Partner (tenanted pub) estate in Dorset, have devised creative ways to support their local community during the Government-enforced lockdown.

The Cock & Bottle in Morden is operating a pop-up shop from Monday to Saturday, 10am-12pm. Locals can phone ahead and order fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dry goods and frozen food. Shoppers are given an allocated pick-up slot to collect their purchases, limiting the number of people in the shop to two at a time.

Paul Solway, Owner of The Cock & Bottle, said: “There are many vulnerable people in the community who are unable to go out to the larger supermarkets. Through our usual suppliers, we are able to order the basic essentials with a 24-hour turnaround, so we wanted to extend this facility to the whole village as it felt like the right thing to do.”

At The Inn at Cranborne, free meals are being offered to NHS workers and their families every Sunday, currently this can range from 30 to 40 roast dinners a week. A temporary takeaway service is also available seven days a week for lunch and dinner. The pub, which is renowned for its open fire cooked Sunday roast dishes, is also offering locals the opportunity to order fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and milk.

Matt Clark, owner of the Inn at Cranborne, explained: “We are doing our best to help our community, which has been reflected in the fair pricing of our takeaway options. The team at The Inn wants to bring a bit of cheer and support to our locals in these difficult times, so it’s great to be able to help people enjoy their favourite home-cooked dishes in the comfort of their own home.

“In addition, we are proactively using this ‘down-time’ to deep clean and revamp our premises by creating a new outdoor kitchen and repainting the whole interior so that when we are given the go ahead by the Government to re-open our doors, we’ll be able to welcome everyone back to a great, fresh-looking pub.”

The Crown Inn at Marnhull also has a temporary takeaway service for the local community, open seven days a week to serve their favourite pub classics. Eric Montgomery and Gemma Howard are joint Business Partners of The Crown Inn. Eric said: “I am truly humbled by the community support that I have seen in the village. We are all pulling together to support the needy and ensure they have at least one hot meal a day. We hear that some people aren’t able to get a food delivery for three weeks and we feel it is our responsibility, being at the heart of the community, to support our locals in whatever shape or form that we can.”

Team members at The Crown Inn have also converted their barn into a temporary grocery service, where people can collect fresh essentials including eggs and milk from their milk station which is facilitated by the owners of Dorset Dairy Company, Dan Miller and Alex Rawe.

Takeaway orders for The Inn at Cranborne and The Crown Inn at Marnhull are received over the phone. Customers are then given an allocated pick-up slot to ensure they practise social distancing in-line with the Government guidelines. If people wish to remain in their cars, team members are able to place their orders directly into the car boot to minimise social contact.

Chris Chapman, Head of Business Partnerships at Hall & Woodhouse, added: “It is great to see so many of our Business Partners supporting their local communities, especially the most vulnerable people during these difficult times. It is only by all of us working and supporting one another, that we will come through this. That is why at Hall & Woodhouse we are committed to providing our Business Partners with the financial support and advice needed to help them through this period of uncertainty.”

Up to date information on delivery services, takeaway menus and grocery services are available on each pub’s Facebook pages or websites, or by telephoning the pub in question.