The co-founder of a husband-and-wife live-entertainment duo, who take bookings for over 30 musicians and plan large-scale events, has spoken out about the challenges which venues face in safely coming out of lockdown. 

Chloe-Jean Grey, of Mr & Mrs Grey, said: "Many companies are approaching re-opening with hygienic gusto and are actioning essential social-distancing measures to safeguard customers. However, along with peace of mind, does this also make the customer feel as if they’re already infected? Is it something that further dehumanises the experience of being out & about? 

"Yes, it’s important to stay safe - but it’s also important to ensure you’re providing your customers with a memorable experience that they’ll want to repeat, rather than a meal in a hospital canteen. It will be very easy to turn a restaurant into a sterile and impersonal venue with PPE visors, one-way systems and no physical contact. 

"What we must not lose is atmosphere. That’s where we come in. We’re taking the responsibility to remind venues of the human element - the buzz of being out socialising and enjoying a beautiful meal whilst still ensuring the customers are safe and well.

"Live music provides a talking point. With significant drops in capacity in order to comply with social-distancing rules, for a while at least, restaurants & bars will no longer be the bustling hubs of excitement they were. Therefore, it’s down to us to provide a soundtrack to their evening and to provide an ambience they’ll remember and recommend. 

"Let’s get the customer involved. We can ensure each table has a card with our social handles on, so that they may remotely request songs, dedications to their partners or special occasions etc. 

"Of course, every venue will have teething problems as we attempt to catapult ourselves into an entirely different system and way of serving people. But we need to shift focus onto something entirely positive and beneficial for the ambiance of the establishment and overall experience of the customer."