Social distancing here at Woburn Sands Emporium



UPDATE: Restaurant opening Saturday 4th July 2020. 


As always, our priority is the safety of you and our team, so we have taken steps to ensure this continues to be the case.


Here is a summary of what we’ve done exclusively in our Restaurant:

• Tables have been spaced at 2m apart

• One way in and out system

• Meet and greet service to escort you to your table

• Following government guidance, we will ask that the lead member of your group provide contact details at the time of seating in order to assist with track and trace, please note this information will not be used for any other purpose and will be deleted after 21 days of your visit.

• Contactless payments - Up to a value of £45

• Food ordered & served at your table


What is your seating capacity and will that affect numbers in store?

Previously we were allowing approximately 40 (this well below the industry standard which allowed double this) people in store at a time. As we are able open up more areas across the store, this will allow us to increase our capacity.  We have space for 24 diners outside and a further 40 people inside to sit safely. During busy periods, you might have to wait until we have a table available. That all being said we will continue to follow the guidance set out by the government to allow for social distancing measures and wont raise our total store capacity to levels that we are not satisfied with - it will increase from its current level. Everyone's safety comes first. 


What is different in the Restaurant?

If you were a regular visitor to our Restaurant, you’ll notice that we’re doing things a little differently when you next visit. Firstly, we have reduced the number of tables/chairs in the Restaurant to ensure everyone remains at least 2 metres apart, whilst also putting a one-way system in place where needed.


Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a member of our team, who will take you to one of our tables, so we’ll just ask everyone to wait patiently until we’ve found a table for you. 

A member of the team will take your order while you are sat down and will also ask you what condiments you want with your food. 


How many people can sit together?

We have created enough space in our Restaurant to ensure everyone is at least two meters apart, with some tables able to accommodate up to 6 people, other tables for 4 people and some for 2 people. If you are with one other household (or your support bubble) then we will aim to sit you as closely as possible to each other, however we have made the decision not to move tables around to ensure that we minimise any risk to others.


How long can I stay in the Restaurant?

Although we will not be placing a time limit on your stay in the Restaurant, we kindly ask that everyone be mindful of the fact that others might be waiting to take a seat, so as soon as you have finished your food/drinks, we kindly ask that you make your way back into store to continue with your shopping or your day.


Are you opening your public toilets?

Yes, our toilet facilities will be available again. Customers will need to sanitise their hands before entering. 


What is the Restaurant opening hours?

The opening times for the Restaurant will be as follows:

• 09:00 – 16:00 Monday – Saturday

• 10:00 – 16:00 Sunday

Breakfast will be served until 11:30, while lunches start at 12 noon.


What Food / Drink options are available?

Although we’d love to offer a full menu, initially we will be operating a limited food menu, however we will aim to provide a selection of choices, including some of your favourites! There will be no changes to hot drinks options, also a large range of cold drinks to select from. We will release the initial menus over the coming days. 


Once your order has been placed, you can then sit back and relax as a member of our Kitchen team safely prepares your food. Once it is ready, your food and drinks will be brought to your table with cutlery and napkins. If your food/drinks are brought on a tray, we will leave that with you until you have left the Restaurant.


Once you have finished just leave everything where it is so our team member can safely clear away after you. There will be a designated route to exit the restaurant.


We ask that you follow the current government guidelines when visiting our restaurant. You can find the latest information here 




We know you will have a few questions about social distancing and numbers into the store. So, we thought it helpful if we explain exactly how we are operating.  We’ve learnt a lot from the supermarkets over the last few weeks and the safety of you and our team is paramount. 


We will be limiting people in store to 80 at any one time. This will help ensure we keep everyone 2m apart. We may review this and change it at a later date.


We are limiting groups entering store to a maximum of 2 people per household. Special consideration will be give to single parents with multiple children but we ask for you to supervise your children at all times.If we have 40 people in store then we have a queuing system at the front of the plant entrance that keeps everyone 2m apart.


The front of the store will be manned by one of our team, once they allow you to go in store then you will find a trolley next to a sanitiser station for you to wipe down. Everyone must wipe their trolley. Hand sanitiser is also available for you to use.


We will only use trolleys, no baskets are allowed.


Once in the store we are encouraging people to follow the same route but this does depend on what you want to buy.  It’s vital that we all stay 2m apart from each other, including our team, and you will see lots of signage and floor stickers to remind you.


Once you have got everything you need, you will come down to the tills and we have created a queuing system that helps us keep everyone 2m apart. With only 40 people in store, we hope it will be quick but it will help us keep everyone 2m apart.


At the till, our team will explain how it will work.  If you are with another member of your household please advise them to stand away from the tills.  Only one person needs to make the payment. 


We are not accepting cash at this point in time. Our contactless payments have been increased to £45. 

From Monday 20th July, we will be able to accept HTA gift vouchers (paper vouchers only - we don't take the HTA card vouchers) but only as full payment - we are unable to give change or issue vouchers at this time.


We have taken our guidance from the HTA. 


We will temporarily be pausing our online delivery service to allow us to ensure the team remain safe now we are open to the public. This will be revisited in the next week or so as we realise that a number of our customers are shielding. But we just need to take a moment to gather our thoughts. 


You will understand that these rules are non negotiable.  We must follow them for everyone’s safety. What we can assure you is that, alongside these measures, you will find our friendly team ready to help as they always do.


Under normal circumstances we know people love to visit and spend time browsing, and we love to see that. However, things are a bit different right now, and during these strange times with social distancing and the limit of customers we can allow in the garden centre, we would ask that you think a bit differently about your visit. We all want to come and get what we need, and allow everyone to do the same.

It's going to be different for a time, but normal times will come back. Until then, stay safe.

To ensure our staff and customer's safety in store, we have;
  • Limited the number of customers in our store.
  • Introduced a queuing system outside at the plant entrance where we ask customers to queue at each of the 2m markers.
  • Implemented clear floor markings and signage for safe distancing when queuing.
  • Installed a sanitiser station at the entrance where customers will be able to sanitise their trolley (we will only use trolleys, no baskets allowed).
  • Installed sanitisers around the store and ensure we are washing and sanitising our hands regularly.
  • Reduced number of tills to enable social distancing.
  • Sanitiser and wipes at the tills and will ensure the the chip and pin machine is sanitised after each transaction.
We ask that you;
  • Please respect the 2m distance with both our staff and other customers.
  • Only shop with one other member of your household - where possible, please shop on your own to reduce the number of people in the Garden Centre.
  • Where possible, plan your visit - have a list of items you require to help minimise browsing.
  • Look out for signs and floor markings.
  • Please respect our staff and ensure you follow social distancing measures or you may be asked to leave.
  • Pay by credit or debit card only and if possible use contactless payment (new limit is £45).
Please note, childrens play area, and the crazy golf remains closed.
All concessions are now open with social distancing in place.




Newport Road

Milton Keynes. MK17 8UF

Oliver Hayes

Garden Centre Manager

©2020 Woburn Sands Emporium