Operators are being asked to collect customer and staff contact details to support NHS Test and Trace in new government guidelines published last night.
The advice states hospitality businesses should make a record of names, phone numbers and arrival and departure times for all customers or visitors, but should only collect details for lead members of group bookings.
Additionally, operators should collect contact details for all staff working on the premises as well as the time and date they worked. Information should be stored for 21 days, after which they should be safely deleted.
UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls pointed out the exercise is voluntary, but that businesses should try to obtain this information.
"If the customer refuses, then this is their choice and it does not mean you have to refuse them service. They are still allowed to come in and enjoy hospitality," she said.
Trevor Brown, owner of the Pickled Ploughman in Banbury, wrote on Twitter: "My team are trained to say ‘Hi, I'm x. Before I take your order, could you possibly help the NHS beat Covid-19 by giving me a contact phone number?' As we will be 100% table service, it should be OK, but the government guidance only says that you ‘should' not ‘must'."
Nicholls called this approach "good practice" and said point of service provided a great opportunity to collect information, but pointed out it must be stored securely to remain compliant with GDPR rules.
The guidelines on maintaining staff and customer records can be found here.