Pubs and restaurants wanting to operate as takeaways

Guidance for pubs and restaurants wanting to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.

We understand that businesses may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time perhaps expanding into home deliveries or takeaway foods.

Latest information for food premises operators

The government has issued guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways.

There are new emergency regulations stopping most food premises from being open as of now. They apply to the majority of food premises where food is prepared for immediate consumption including pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes plus places where food is provided alongside other activities such as theatres, cinemas, leisure centres, casinos, galleries, betting shops, sports halls. There are some exceptions for takeaway food premises.

If you don't comply with the regulations, then you may be prosecuted, fined or have your license removed.

These new  rules are a vital step in preventing the spread of coronavirus and customers will expect you to be responsible so don't take any chances for them or yourself.

The Food Standards Agency also has some information on adapting restaurants and food delivery during COVID-19.

How we can help

Our Environmental Health teams are now only going out on emergency site visits but will try to support you every way we can.

If you have any concerns or are looking for specific advice do please call us on 01799 510510.or by email to

General advice

The following general advice may be helpful for those businesses that are looking to operate as takeaways or make home deliveries where they have not done so before.

Scientific advice is that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food, but, if you are changing how you are used to operating then you should think through the hazards and ensure that you have control measures in place.

  • A business is currently only be in a position do this if you are registered as a food business with a local authority. This is an easy process. Registration is free and can be done online
  • All foods must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures that they do not become unsafe or unfit to eat
  • Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool while they are being transported. This may need to be packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag
  • If you are transporting hot food, it should be kept hot. This may need to be packed in an insulated box. We recommend you keep distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have provided advice on How to manage a food business if you sell products online, for takeaway or for delivery.

There is a wealth of advice for businesses on allergen management on the FSA website.

Contact-free delivery

Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep everyone healthy, so you could consider leaving deliveries at the door of your customer, rather than handing it over to them. Knock on the door step back at least 1 metre and wait nearby for your customer to collect it.

Take payments over the phone or internet rather than taking a cash payment.

Infection control

You have responsibilities to ensure food handlers are fit for work under the food hygiene regulations and in addition you have a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of anyone in your employment as well as members of the public.

Relevant staff must be provided with clear instructions on any infection control policy in place, and any person so affected and employed in a food business and who is likely to come into contact with food is to report immediately the illness or symptoms, and if possible their causes, to the food business operator. 

If you are undertaking deliveries, then you should have a system whereby clients can notify the restaurant/delivery drivers whether they are self-isolating so that action can be taken accordingly as highlighted above.