Independent industry consultant, Byron Evans, who has 30-years senior experience in the business including the last decade as commercial director at Praesepe, is being engaged by a growing number of progressive AGC and FEC operators as they prepare to meet the requirements and conditions of a return to trading post the Covid-19 lockdown.
Evans believes that as the industry moves towards reopening, operators must consider how they safely and legally operate their premises. He cautioned: “There is government advice and regulations on reopening ‘shops and branches’ but each business must translate this guidance into specific actions within their own respective working environment.
“Not all arcades are the same. They have a wide range of shapes, sizes and configurations with different counters or change desk, some offer customer seating and some have retail areas. All these different aspects of operation need to be considered.”
He added: “Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure staff and customer health and safety in the workplace, so an appropriate Covid-19 Risk Assessment is essential. Furthermore, if you have more than five employees that Risk Assessment must be written down. Staff and customers alike need to be sure that their needs and safety have been taken into consideration in order for them to return to work or attend a premises with confidence. “
My own view is that Local Authorities and possibly even the police will need to be seen to be checking that social distancing measures are being enforced and adhered to. Having appropriate procedures in place will help operators demonstrate their ongoing social responsibility.”
In the 15-months that he has been running his own business, Evans has provided consultancy on behalf of a cross section of large and small AGC, FEC and bingo operators across a broad range of issues including property acquisitions and disposals, compliance assessments and audits, compliance and social responsibility training, operating and premises licence applications as well as Local Area Risk Assessments. He is a member of Bacta, the Bingo Association and the Gambling Business Group and also holds a Personal Management Licence.