The health and safety of our customers and team members is paramount across the Mercantile Group and we want to make each visit to our venues a welcoming and comfortable experience. Over the past few months we have all endured changes to the way we live due to Covid-19 and as we get back to some kind of normality, we want ensure you that we are taking all the necessary steps to allow us to re-open and bring you some of Dublin’s finest food and beverages in a safe environment for both our staff and our customers.

Below you will find an outline of what to expect when you visit each of our venues. 

Preparing to reopen

We look forward to welcoming you back into two of our venues as we resume our restaurant service in Café en Seine and Opium.

We are working incredibly hard to ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience and here are some of the measures we’re taking prior to opening, in each of our venues.

  • All team members will be required to sign a “fit to return to work” form.

  • They shall undergo new cleaning and service standard training before commencing work and signed off by a manager.

  • We shall be educating all team members, including management on the importance and safe use of PPE.

  • There will be new training on how we shall deliver new menus, bookings policies, table layouts and opening hours.

  • Each venue will be deep cleaned and all surfaces and touch points will be sanitised prior to opening.

  • All furniture will be repositioned to allow for social distancing between tables as per government guidelines. (currently 1 metre).

  • We have also added in toughened glass partitions throughout some of our venues for added customer safety.

  • Customers shall be able to see our new table layout on Opentable before booking with us but your table will be allocated by our management teams.

Daily Venue Checkups

Each day before we open our doors we shall be implementing pre-opening checkup procedures to ensure a safe environment for guests and staff. These include

  • Temperature checks for all team members before they commence work. 

  • There will be a PPE and uniform check for all staff before they commence work.

  • The sanitisation of all front of house and service touch points before opening.

  • Ensure timers are set every 30 minutes across each venue (kitchen, bar, wait stations etc) to remind team members to wash their hands 

  • A run through of checklisted essential items by teams members for PPE, soap and sanitisers in all relevant sections.

Visiting our venues

We are looking forward to welcoming you back into our venues to enjoy some of Dublin’s finest food and drinks. It is important to us that our guests experience a comfortable and pleasant visit to our venues at this time and to make that possible, we will be accepting advance bookings only in each of our spaces

The booking process

  • All bookings for lunch, brunch (where applicable) and dinner should be made via each venue website (also listed here n our group site) where possible or on OpenTable

  • Bookings of 6 must be from a max of 2 households.
  • Our booking teams shall confirm your booking, sitting times and service options.

  • All guests will be required to provide credit card details on booking and provide contact tracing details.

  • Table sittings will have a duration of 2 hours for you to enjoy a meal.

  • We would kindly request all our guests to arrive together and at the exact time of their booking. If you are going to be delayed, we would kindly ask you to just let us know by phone.

  • We understand that sometimes things happen and you can’t make it to your booking. Because we are currently only allowing pre-booked guests into our venue, we would ask you to kindly contact us with as much notice as possible if you cannot make your booking. This means we can free up this time for another guest.

  • In the case of any no shows or cancellations within 24 hours, there will be a charging fee of €20 per person.

Arriving at our venues

To ensure a comfortable visit for staff and guests we would kindly ask our customers to only visit our venue if they are feeling well. We have worked hard to put a number of measures in place for re-opening safely.

    • We would ask that all our customers kindly use the hand sanitiser available at the entrance to each of our venues upon arrival

    • We have installed contactless temperature checks on arrival in each of our venues.

    • We will have floor markings in front of our host stands to indicate how you can safely social distance yourself from other guests while waiting to be seated. We assure you, that you will not be waiting more than a minute or two.

    • During this period our cloakrooms shall be closed and you will be asked to hold on to all of your personal belongings.

    • A team member shall bring you directly to your table giving you as much physical space as possible on route.

    • Once at your table guests shall be required to pull out your own chair.

    • A team member shall issue you a disposal paper menu for you to order from. Each menu is discarded into the bin after each use.

    • We would kindly ask guests to kindly remain at their table throughout their visit with the exception of bathroom use, in order to respect social distancing guidelines of our staff and other guests. 

How your table will be presented

Tables shall not be pre-set for guests. 

  • At present we shall not be pre setting tables for guests.

  • All our tables will be generously spaced apart and capacity will be reduced in line with current guidelines to ensure a relaxed visit.

  • We shall be using single use menus and napkins for the time being.

  • All condiments will be served to your your table when requested, by a member of our wait staff and will be cleaned after each use.

  • All staff will be required to wash or sanitise their hands after visiting each occupied table. This includes after food, drinks, dishware, silverware, napkins or other serving equipment is delivered.

Ordering your meal

  • During this time we will be encouraging guests to order their full meal and drinks at the one time in order to allow our wait staff to socially distance themselves. 

  • Orders will be placed to a member of wait staff. 

  • Water and wine will not be poured by wait staff at the table unless requested. Guests will be asked to do this themselves.

  • Your server will keep as much distance as possible away from each guest and their table while still being able to comfortably hear and talk to you.

When your meal arrives

We will have dedicated food runners that will deliver your meal to your table. This procedure may slightly vary in each of our menus.

  • Each runner will use a large tray to deliver your meal. The carrying of multiple plates in a person’s hands is not permitted.

  • Staff will be required to wash their hands before serving your table and again before serving their next table.

Bill presentation and payment

  • We will present your bill in a sanitised bill holder. 

  • At this time we will continue to encourage all guests to pay by contactless card or phone payments.

  • Each team member will have their own credit card terminal for the duration of their shift and will be assigned one order till per shift. Both the till and credit card terminal will be sanitised after each use.

Toilet cleaning and access

  • To allow for as much social distancing as possible, every second cubicle and urinal will be closed in our bathrooms where possible. If we are unable to do this a limited number of people will be allowed to use the bathroom facilities at any one time.

  • Every second sink shall be closed where possible to allow for social distancing. 

  • All toilets shall be checked and cleaned every 60 minutes.

  • Toilet checks will include sanitising down door handles, taps, sinks, counter tops, ledges, toilet seats & flushers.

  • All touch points such as handrails, lift buttons and doors on route to the bathrooms will be sanitised every 30 minutes also.

  • We shall also have a hand sanitiser station at the entrance to the bathroom staircase and lobby outside the bathroom doors. 

  • We have also installed foot handles on each bathroom door to open and close doors without using your hands.

Leaving our venues

When you are paying your bill, a member of our wait staff will guide you on the best exit to leave the building (if there is more than one entrance/exit). We shall sometimes have one way systems in place to give each diner as much social distance from other guests as possible and guests will be informed as they take their seat at their allotted table.

Table preparation for our next guests  

To allow us to properly sanitise an area previously used by a guest we have spaced each booking 15 minutes apart.

  • Each previously occupied space will receive a thorough clean between sittings.

  • Each table will be cleaned using spray sanitiser. It shall be evenly sprayed all over the table including legs, sides and underneath. After 20 seconds it shall be wiped thoroughly with a disposal cleaning roll.

  • Each chair or couch will be sprayed with spray sanitiser evenly to include the seat, back, arms and legs. Again it will be left for 20 seconds before being wiped with a disposal cleaning roll.

  • Disposal roll will be binned immediately after use.

  • The team member will then be required to wash their hands straight away

PPE and signage in venues

In order for you to enjoy a comfortable visit to our venues we will be reminding guests where they can avail of various sanitisation stations throughout the building.

  • We will have some health and hygiene reminder signage throughout each venue.

  • You can expect sanitiser stations for our guests at all entrances, exits and bathrooms. 

  • We shall have sanitary envelopes available to guests to place their masks in.

  • Handwash, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, will be available to all staff.

Front of house cleaning

We will now have dedicated cleaning staff in each of our venues to ensure each surface is properly cleaned and sanitised throughout each day. If you happen to notice we have missed something, please let your waiter or waitress know and we’ll take care of it immediately.

  • A bathroom check and clean every 30 minutes.

  • Clean and disinfect door handles, counters, sinks, toilet paper dispensers, seats/flushers. 

  • Check supply and refill soap dispensers, sanitiser, toilet paper.

  • Empty all bins as needed

  • Clean and sanitise all touch points throughout the building including door handles, push plates, ledges.

  • Clean and sanitise the handrail on the staircases (where needed) to the toilets .

  • Clean and sanitise railings, ledges, and counters, service station counters, pens, elevator buttons

  • Clean and sanitise handles of equipment doors on server related coolers, handles of dispensers, ice scoops, sink handles, towel and soap dispensers, front counter areas, pens or other writing utensils, clipboards, etc.

  • Clean and sanitise order tills, and bar tills.

  • Clean and sanitise bill holders. 

Drinks service

In order to comply with social distancing rules, you shall only be able to order a drink at your table for the foreseeable future. Here is how our bar shall work.

  • We shall have only one bartender working per station. 

  • Each station will be more than 2 metres apart and will have its own till.

  • All bar stations will mirror one another to minimise the need for stock crossover.

  • All of our glass washers will be deep cleaned (at a temperature of 73 degrees for 3 minutes for thermal disinfection) and serviced pre reopening.

  • An ice scoop will always be used when working with ice.

  • Fruit tongs will be used when handling all fruit and garnishes.

  • Cocktail shakers will be washed after each use. 

  • All bartenders staff will be retrained on how to handle glassware safely.

  • Bar team members to be assigned one till per shift. 

  • Tills and credit card machines will be sanitised every 30 minutes. 

  • Beer taps and fridge handles will be cleaned down regularly throughout service.

  • All bar team members to wash hands every 30 minutes, 

  • We shall have timers with an alarm behind each station to remind teams to wash their hands every 30 minutes.

  • Straws will be available only on request and will be single use wrapped straws. 

  • All bottled beers will be served with accompanying glass. 

  • Wine coolers will be cleaned after each use. 

  • We shall deliver your drinks to your table on a tray. 

  • All finished glasses and bottles will be collected from tables on trays, 

  • The glass or bottle will be picked up by the body, not the neck.

  • Team members will wash their hands after collecting used glassware.

How our kitchens will run

We know eating out is supposed to be a relaxing affair and we want to assure our customers that we’re working hard on and off the floor to ensure your visit is an enjoyable and safe one.


  • Our menus will be designed to allow for a limited amount of chefs in our kitchens at any one time.

  • Each chef will only work in one section of the kitchen and shall cook one element of the menus only i.e starters, mains or desserts. 

  • A full station prep will be carried out before each service to limit the number of chefs in the kitchen at any one time. 

  • Our chefs will wear masks or faceguards while on duty

  • We shall have hand washing timers set for every 30 minutes.  

  • There will be hand sanitiser at each station to avoid any possible crossover between kitchen staff.

  • We currently employ an external auditing company called HMS who will continue to independently audit our food hygiene and safety standards

Washing up

  • We shall have one dedicated kitchen porter doing wash up at any one time.

  • Their hands must be washed before taking clean crockery out of the dish washing machine. 

  • The dishwasher cycle will run at a 60 degree wash and 70 degree rinse cycle to ensure full disinfection.

  • All dumbwaiters (small freight elevators) will be cleaned before each load of clean crockery /equipment is sent to the main kitchens.


To ensure the safe delivery of goods to our buildings we are changing the way we interact with our food suppliers and delivery teams with new procedures.  

  • All deliveries will be accepted outside of the building

  • Hand Sanitiser will be used by both the team member and delivery person before the exchanging of goods. 

  • We aim to restrict the need for the delivery driver to enter our venues. If access is needed, they must wear a mask and wash hands prior to entry and again on exit.

  • Our staff will be required to wear a mask and gloves when accepting deliveries.

  • No delivery persons will have access to our kitchens.

  • All goods will be decanted from boxes  and containers immediately and boxes removed from the area as fast as possible.  

  • There will be a wash down of any surface that the box or containers have touched

  • Staff members handling goods must then wash their hands. 

Accepting Drink and Consumable Deliveries

  • All cellar staff will wear gloves and masks when accepting deliveries on the street. 

  • Once a case of bevarages is opened it must be fully decanted, box removed  and hands washed. 

  • Staff will wash their hands after changing a keg always.

  • Delivery docket handover shall be done outside and the delivery driver must wash their hands upon entering the building if he/she needs to enter. 

Staff Room

Ensuring the safety of our staff is a major priority for us, not just while they are customer facing but behind the scenes too. New measures are now in place to ensure they have a safe working environment. 

  • No more than two people at a time can avail of the use of the changing rooms and they must keep two metres apart. 

  • When this space is in use and social distance cannot be maintained, team members must wait and have respect for their co-workers who need to share this area.

  • All staff will be asked to change quickly and leave the area immediately after use.

  • Sharing lockers is no longer allowed.   

  • Staff will be required to clean their lockers with provided disinfectant prior to using before starting their shift. 

  • Staff will be required to spray their locker with disinfectant at the end of each shift.

  • Staff will be required to wash their hands after changing in and out of uniform and after using the bathroom.

Staff Illness

In the event that a staff member has been in contact with a confirmed case, they will be required to notify a manager immediately and will must self-isolate until a test is completed. 

In the event that a staff member is showing any symptoms, they must contact their GP and manager immediately. They will be required to self-isolate and await further instructions from their doctor. 

Any staff member showing a high temperature on arrival to work will not be permitted to work and will be sent home and advised to contact their GP for further instruction. 

Should a staff member start developing symptoms during their shift, they will be brought to an unused area in the building  until someone can come collect them. They will be required to wear a mask during this period and keep at least two metres from other staff members. 

Confirmed Case Notification

In the event that we are alerted to a case of Covid-19 from a staff member or customer, we shall provide contact tracing details based on our rosters and customer bookings log to the relevant government approved departments.

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