Costa Coffee has begun trials of an eat-in option in 44 of its UK stores.
The trials, which went live this week, are taking place across the country including London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Ipswich.
Costa said it aims to extend the eat-in option to a further 1,000 stores by the end of the month, following feedback and adjusting its operations in line with government guidelines.
Staff at the trial stores will greet customers on arrival and allocate them a table before guiding them to the counter to place their order from behind a Perspex screen.
Seating will be limited and operate on a first come, first served basis – if a table is not available, the customer will be encouraged to use the takeaway service or wait outside the store until one becomes free.
Designated tables will be placed two metres apart, except for seated customers that are sat side by side or back to back who can be one metre-plus.
Costa said it will also be following government guidelines and taking the details of customers who wish to eat in their stores by utilising technology to keep customers data secure, which can then be shared with the NHS for the purpose of track and trace if necessary.
“We are delighted to safely welcome customers back into our stores, offering them the option to sit and enjoy their favourite perfectly handcrafted Costa Coffee, as we begin to trial eat-in across a selected number of our stores,” said Costa Coffee UK&I MD Neil Lake.
“With safety remaining our number one priority, our eat-in trial has been designed in line with government guidelines and will test the enhanced safety and operating measures we’ve implemented. Feedback on our stores reopening has been overwhelming positive and we are grateful for the hard work of our store teams and the patience of our customers as we do this.
“We look forward to welcoming more customers back to the seating areas of our stores soon.”