When Racing Greyhound pub landlords Keith and Debbie Barnett were asked to host an award presentation today (August 31) they readily agreed even though the recipient was ‘top secret.’
What they didn’t know was their customers had got together to arrange a special award to thank the couple and all their staff for the hard work put in throughout the covid pandemic.
Organised by regular Graham Twyman, an engraved glass, hospitality award sporting a greyhound design thanked the team for their hard work and professionalism.
Graham, of Twyman and Holmes funeral directors, said: “Today is a very special day to say thank to some people that went above and beyond.”
Debbie Day from Thanet Academy FM gave a presentation speech to the packed pub, saying: “Through covid it was really hard to see people and socialise and people were isolated.
“Everyone wanted to show appreciation for how amazing the Racing Greyhound has been. They have enabled people to get back together and put everything in place, signs and sanitation so people can come together and feel safe about it.
“Graham felt strongly you should be recognised for that and everyone here today wanted to say thank you.”
Landlady Debbie Barnett said she was shocked but added: “We all worked hard to get through covid and we did it. This (award) is lovely.”
Graham said: “We all know how hard it has been for hospitality during the pandemic. There was lots of extra work for them to do with signs, sanitisers and precautions. These things go unnoticed sometimes but we wanted to show our gratitude.”
Parents-of-two Debbie and Keith have been at the Greyhound for some 14 years and, with their team, have transformed custom at the Hereson Road pub with a loyal following of regulars, families, diners and community support, including providing a meeting room for many local groups and charities.