If things go to plan, Macclesfield’s Picturedrome food hall will be ‘back with a bang’ following the lockdown end on December 2.
Picturedrome seats up to 300 people offering a choice of drinks and food from ten outlets. The food hall was forced to shut down over the second lockdown, having previously offered a takeaway service during the first, but the general manager, Jake Atkinson, said: “We’re dying to get back open for the 2nd. In a lot of ways we’ve got it ready to go – for the first lockdown we had an app designed
“You order on the app and we bring it to your table. It eliminates the customers walking around the kitchens. We’re up to 300 seats so it’s a busy place – we don’t take bookings so we have to think about something that can control the customer flow with social distancing.”
The ‘Drome’ will offer bags with sanitised cutlery, napkins and bottles of water in to hand to customers instead of offering them communally on tables.
“Because we had all that in place already prior to this lockdown we were extremely busy because people would see it as a large space, with outdoor seating, that was a safe environment to dine in,” Jake said.
The lockdown has meant all 100 staff at Picturedrome had to be put on furlough. Jake said: “This time round we’ve furloughed everybody. There was thought of us doing takeaway but it’s been better to furlough everyone this time round. It’s allowed all the kitchens to furlough their staff.”
He explained that the weeks prior to lockdown were ‘chaos’, with both half term and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme leading to long queues.
The great response in the summer led on from the positive reaction the business received when it opened last year and Jake says he hopes to make Picturedrome a centrepiece of the town.
The Picturdrome is part of a group that also runs Altrincham Market and Market House as well as Mackie Mayor in Manchester.
Jake’s plan is to use the Picturedrome as a central hub which he hopes will bring new restaurants and businesses to the area.
“Our aim in Macclesfield is to turn it into a booming market town like we did in Altrincham,” he said. piWe’re just gearing up for reopening.”
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