A recent announcement indicates that the poshest restaurant in Ancoats is gearing up to reopen

Manchester’s only Michelin starred restaurant may be the first to reopen as the hospitality industry looks towards a tentative, socially distanced comeback. Mana in Ancoats has hinted that things are quickly moving forward. 

There will be a no handshaking policy

In an announcement via its mailing list on Wednesday, June 4th, the restaurant informed past and future guests that it would soon be welcoming their return, saying: 

'We are incredibly pleased to inform you that mana will be welcoming the return of our guests in the near future. We are so happy to know that soon we will return to doing what we love, performing and refining our craft, re-connecting to our terroir, for the pleasure of our visitors.'

2018 10 25 Mana Review Img 9785
Mana's open kitchen recently received a five-star hygiene rating

Mana’s sparsely-tabled dining area with a fully open kitchen - recently awarded a five-star hygiene rating - does seem a suitable candidate for a socially distanced meal. 

As we have said before, restaurants and kitchens must already adhere to strict hygiene protocols and many upped their game pre-lockdown. The main issue for those concerned about the spread of COVID-19 is probably other diners. 

But with even more stringent cleaning and other precautions in place along with a wide open dining space with a much smaller than average number of covers per square foot anyway, perhaps Mana could go back to ‘normal’ before some other restaurants will be able to.

Mana have outlined the additional measures that will be put into place:

All members of staff will be privately tested for coronavirus prior to re-joining the team

Each morning and prior to commencing work, every staff member will have their temperature taken and recorded

Hand sanitiser will be available throughout the restaurant and required upon entering the building for staff members and guests alike

There will be a no handshaking policy

We will not be using our lounge area

Tables will be spread a minimum of two meters apart

We will implement the use of all necessary PPE equipment as outlined by Public Health England

This announcement follows a video recently shared on social media from Albert’s Schloss, depicting the measures they will be taking when they reopen which include visors for waiting staff, thermal temperature monitors on entry, a digital ordering system and a distanced drop-off table where dishes and drinks can be placed by staff for customers to collect themselves. Their dining area has already had its tables spaced out, clearly showing how many fewer customers will be able to dine at any one time. 

2019 10 10 Mana Michelin Simon Martin
There will be a no handshaking policy

With some restaurants also suggesting that an understandable increase in prices will be necessary to cover the losses of the past few months, this does raise the question: Will dining out become an even more privileged pastime for the foreseeable future?

Whether you think it's too soon to reopen, or you're willing to take your chances, it's clear that restaurant dining will not be 'as we know it' for some time yet.

Read next: How are hotels going to have to change?

Read again: ‘For people who like to argue about food’ - Mana, Ancoats, reviewed