Peach Pubs has said it has taken 1,500 bookings in just four hours for six of its sites from 4 July.
Operations director Chris Stagg told The Caterer: "I was surprised. To be honest I thought we might get 100 and something across the six pubs, maybe 30 or 40 a pub, I didn't expect to sell out in four hours."
The group, founded by Hamish Stoddart, Lee Cash and Jo Eames in 2002, will stagger reopenings with another six sites to follow on 9 July and the rest of the estate shortly after.
Stagg added: "We've had loads of positive feedback. We did a survey asking our guest database what their priorities are and why they want to come out, and the message back was people want to come and meet up with friends and family. Most people want to eat the classic foods that they can't cook at home and are missing. We've got a lot of support from guests saying they want to see us back open."
The group has put together a plan based on what it believes guidelines for reopening will be, but Stagg says this can be easily adapted if needed with staff training set to begin on Wednesday.
Prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on the 4 July reopening of hospitality and social distancing tomorrow (Tuesday 23 June).
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