KFC in Portsmouth city centre reopens for takeaways

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A KFC branch in Commercial Road has welcomed back customers as it opened for takeaway orders today.

The American fast food outlet has been catering for delivery apps for the past three weeks, but is now allowing customers in-store to place orders for takeaway.

The branch now has a hand sanitiser station and a member of staff to guide customers at the entrance, with stickers on the floor to ensure customers and delivery drivers remain separate.

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The restaurant had placed tape marking safe social distancing for people queuing outside, but Portsmouth City Council had asked for it to be removed due to concerns about road-sweeper vehicles removing it, according to manager Kris Gergieva.

Jack Honess, 19 and Bethany Becque, both 19 and from Portsmouth, enjoying their KFC 
Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9301)Jack Honess, 19 and Bethany Becque, both 19 and from Portsmouth, enjoying their KFC 
Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9301)
Jack Honess, 19 and Bethany Becque, both 19 and from Portsmouth, enjoying their KFC Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9301) | JPIMedia Resell

She said: ‘It’s been a big challenge, because it’s all so new.

‘Yum, the company that owns KFC, have provided all the equipment.

‘They have been very organised.’

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Cath Martin.
Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9347)Cath Martin.
Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9347)
Cath Martin. Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9347) | JPIMedia Resell

A total of 700 KFC branches have opened for delivery and drive-thru services across the UK, with more than half of these now open for takeaway orders.

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The lockdown had seen 34 members of staff furloughed at a variety of pay levels, but now all staff have returned to work.

A reduced menu is in place at the Commercial Road branch, with no wraps or vegan options due to social distancing constraints within the kitchen, according to regional manager Lydia Sanderson.

KFC in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, reopened for takeaways on Monday, June 1. 
Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9309)KFC in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, reopened for takeaways on Monday, June 1. 
Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9309)
KFC in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, reopened for takeaways on Monday, June 1. Picture: Sarah Standing (010620-9309) | JPIMedia Resell

She said: ‘We are taking safety very seriously.

‘And business has been amazing – customers have said they really miss us.’

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Bethany Becque and Jack Honess, both 19 years old, were two of the first customers to try the new collection service.

Bethany said: ‘It does feel like they have set it up so you feel safe in there.’

With gloves for staff and sneeze guards in front of tills, Cath Martin, who has worked as a customer assistant at the branch for more than 20 years, said she felt ‘very safe.’

The 59-year-old said: ‘I’ve seen a lot of change over the years – but nothing like this.’

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The government has said pubs and restaurants - along with hairdressers and cinemas - will not open until July 4 at the earliest.

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