POPULAR restaurant chain Frankie and Benny's has reopened its doors for dining-in customers in Dudley and Merry Hill.

The restaurants have opened for dine-in customers today (July 13), having previously been open for click and collect and delivery only during the lockdown period.

The Castle Gate and Merry Hill branches are two of just six nationwide to open to dine-in customers, with 35 restaurants expected to be open by the end of the month.

Social distancing measures are in place including single-use menus, enhanced cleaning practices and mandatory health screening for staff, while customers should also book a table in advance.

Mark Chambers, CEO of the leisure division of The Restaurant Group, which runs the chain, said: “We are delighted to be reopening Frankie & Benny’s and very much look forward to welcoming back our guests. We are starting with a handful of restaurants and are aiming to have 35 open by the end of the month. Our priority will be to ensure the health and safety of our teams and guests whilst providing a first-class experience.”

The Dudley and Merry Hill restaurants are two of six to reopen, alongside sites in Chesterfield, Doncaster, Lincoln and Peterborough.

The future of the restaurants was thrown into doubt last month when The Restaurant Group, which runs Frankie & Benny’s, announced it was to shut 125 of its restaurants in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.