Pub landlord puts phone outside so drinkers can order takeaway pints in lockdown loophole

A PUB landlord has set up a phone outside so drinkers can order takeaway pints in a cunning lockdown loophole.

The speedy set-up at the Red Lion and Sun pub in Highgate, North London, allows customers to "pre-order" their drinks – before immediately collecting them.

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The pub shared a video on Twitter of its brilliant new ordering system, with the caption: "Don’t forget to pre-order your drinks."

In the clip, you can see the white telephone in front of the sign "you can order drinks via this phone," before then panning over to their outside bar area just a few yards away.

The phone cord stretches along the walkway towards the bar directly behind the counter – where a member of staff can then pour the requested pint.

'GENIUS IDEA'

Users online heralded the pub for the tongue-in-cheek invention, calling it a "Genius idea."

Heath Ball, manager of the Red Lion and Sun, told the Metro that staff set up the ordering system last week to "take the p***" out of the Government's new rules.

He added: "This is a laugh. This makes no sense.

"You can go to the supermarket and the corner shop to buy beers but they’re telling us that customers have to pre-order.

"All it’s done is give us more work to do. We have all these people out front trying to ring the phone.

"We had a telephone line and a WhatsApp but it was still a mess.

"So I just ordered a couple of phones off Amazon, got a lead to join the two together and thought: “There we go. I’m complying with the law.”

Mr Ball complained that pub owners are having to overcome obstacles put in place during the second lockdown in order to keep businesses going.

RAPID SERVICE

This comes as a loophole was discovered in the government's newly released lockdown regulations meaning boozers can serve alcohol to go – but only if ordered online, on the phone or even by post before they arrive.

The original guidance on the new measures had said that all booze sales for takeaway would be banned.

But the new regulations said that booze – and other food – can be collected if ordered in advance.

However, they will only be able to do this up to 10pm.

Greg Mulholland, Campaign Director of the Campaign for Pubs said the loophole was "welcome."

He added: "It just shows the farce of this new system.

"It's extraordinary that originally they said there would be no sale of alcohol to takeaway.

"But it is welcome news, as it means many pubs won't have to pour perfectly good draft beer away.

"It means that people can safely enjoy takeaways, and sensibly enjoy alcohol at home throughout the lockdown, and saving many businesses until they can fully open again."

Addressing those who have criticised the system, the Red Lion and Son's manager said: "Call us on your own phone. We aren’t forcing you to use that system.

"But to be honest, most people are just laughing – in a good way. We’re just taking the p***. They know how ridiculous this system is."



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