Here you can find all updates shared by our Managing Director Tomás Maunier during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 2nd March 2021
There is no simple or easy way for me to share news like this one with you.
Following the failure to reach the necessary agreements that would have allowed us to continue trading in two of our cities, we unfortunately have to permanently close Fazenda in Birmingham and Picanha by Fazenda in Chester.
The ongoing pandemic has put severe strains on all of us, both as individuals and businesses, and these are not decisions that have been taken lightly.
If you have a Gift Voucher for either of these restaurants, please don’t worry, they will of course be honoured. You will be able to use them at any of our other restaurants. Should this not be suitable for you and instead you wish to use your Gift Voucher at Fazenda at Home please get in touch with our shop team.
We are truly saddened. For our team, our guests and everyone who has been a part of our journey in some way. As always, we have put our heart and soul into the business, as it brings us great joy to share our South American culture with you all.
We will come back to Birmingham and Chester, we are confident of that. It will likely be in a different location, but these are cities we love and we can’t wait to be able to return and see you all again.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 25th February 2021
I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well during the current lockdown.
As you will have seen earlier this week on the news, the Government has set out their Roadmap for the lifting of restrictions. They have put our industry on ‘Step 3’ for indoor dining, which means we will be able to reopen our doors from 17th May onwards (potentially late April in the case of Scotland), provided everything goes well during the first two stages.
We haven’t been given in-depth details yet regarding whether there will be any changes in safety measures, general guidelines, etc., but we’ll be sharing more information on those once they become available to us.
Starting today our diaries are open for reservations for 18th May onwards for our restaurants in England and 27th April onwards for our our Scottish one. We are following the same capacity, safety measures and structure we had before this latest lockdown, however, should there be any changes we will adapt and communicate with you in due course.
Reservations can be made online via our website, where you will also be able to find just like before our Reservation Terms, COVID-19 Safety Measures and Frequently Asked Questions. As always, these will be amended as and when new guidance is published by the Government, and we will share with you any updates for these via here and our social channels.
I know I say this every time I share an update with you but once again, thank you for your ongoing support. It means the world to all of us here at Fazenda. This has been the longest we have ever been closed and we really cannot wait to be able to welcome you again and share a Fazenda Experience with you.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 4th November 2020
I hope you are well and in good health.
As you know, a few months ago we entered probably what was the scariest time we have ever faced. Times were dark for us – as they have been for all of us individuals and businesses – with worries and stress levels through the roof, trying to make the best possible decisions. I am sure looking back we made some mistakes, painful ones, but we also learned so much.
During this time we also learnt who we can count on as friends. Our suppliers, our partners, our bank and you, our guests, have been right there supporting us and sharing the pain with us.
We are now facing another lockdown in England, starting tomorrow.
Edinburgh will continue welcoming you all until we are otherwise told, with a reduced opening time. Restaurants must be vacated by 6pm as rules stand today so our last seating will be between 4 and 4.30pm. As you also probably know we are also unable to serve alcohol under current restrictions. In the meantime, our restaurants in England will close after our evening service tonight and will be waiting for the doors to open, and hopefully welcome you to celebrate Christmas. Unless lockdown is further extended the plan is for us to reopen on Thursday 3rd December.
Something exciting to share is that we have been working behind the scenes on our Fazenda at Home option for quite a while now, and we may be ready to launch in the coming weeks to allow you to take that feeling home with you, even when you can’t visit us.
In the meantime, if you had an upcoming reservation to visit us during November please don’t worry, our team will be in touch with you to help you rearrange it for the future, or cancel it should you wish to do so. As always, any cancellations made as a result of restrictions do not carry any cancellation charges. You can also contact your local Fazenda via email for any enquiries during this time; our management teams will continue to check all messages and emails.
Thank you once again for all your messages and your support, I know I say this all the time but they mean so much to us all here at Fazenda. As always, we will continue to keep you informed as restrictions and guidelines change in the coming weeks.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 7th October 2020
Following this afternoon’s update from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon we will be temporarily closing our doors at Fazenda Edinburgh for 16 days starting at 6pm this Friday 9th October.
We will reopen our doors once again on Monday 26th October.
If you have an upcoming reservation to visit Fazenda Edinburgh please don’t worry, our reception team will be in touch to help rearrange it for a different day or cancel it should you wish to do so.
I would like to reassure all of our guests that any reservations cancelled due to these latest restrictions will not result in a charge to the card used to secure your reservation upon booking.
Lastly, whilst we are of course saddened that we have to close our doors once again for a short time and therefore are unable to welcome all of our guests as planned, we strongly believe in playing our part within our community to reduce the impact of the virus, and protect the wellbeing of our both our teams and guests.
We look forward to welcoming you at our restaurant soon.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 23rd September 2020
Since we reopened our doors and implemented our revised service we have been blown away by your feedback. We have been at the top of the spectrum in guest satisfaction among thousands of restaurants in the country, and that makes us feel truly proud. Some of you are missing our salad bar, but the vast majority have welcomed the new style with huge praise, most even preferring it this way now.
We are obviously sad after yesterday’s news, though we know we have to make sure that health is at the top of the priorities.
Without entering into discussions on whether this curfew is the right or wrong way of proceeding we believe that businesses like ours, who have taken the guidelines and gone even further ensuring that our restaurants are safe for our team and guests, are paying an unfair heavy price. We understand there have been some who have not followed guidelines or have not been doing what society really needs them to do right now, and hopefully this will mean they will do better.
Of course that none of this comes at no cost so it’s hard, but it’s essential. Operating with a reduced capacity, safety measures, training, re-training, everything requires an investment of time and money, but we believe it’s the only way to offer a safe environment for our teams and a safe experience for our guests. I am deeply thankful to our head office team, who continue to work tirelessly every single day to ensure our teams have the latest information, the most up-to-date training and are equipped to offer you the best experience possible.
This is the time when we need to look inside and understand that we are all here for each other. We are here for you, in the good times and the bad times – as long as the government doesn’t ask us to close entirely again – to make you happy, to offer you an experience you will enjoy and will want to repeat.
The role of hospitality is such in society that without it I reckon we would all have fewer happy memories. We are social beings, and all we need from each other is to adapt to this new reality so we can all continue enjoying the great times we have when visiting bars and restaurants with our loved ones.
We will continue doing our part, providing you with the safest environment possible and doing everything in our power so your experience is the best we can offer. All we ask is that we all do the other side of the deal, in order for hospitality to continue to be open and to prove to government that there is a way for us to operate safely, which is to respect the rules, respect each other and bear with the businesses you love the most.
As a new set of guidelines come into force tomorrow 24th September, you might be hearing or might have heard already from our reception teams to find alternative times or dates if you had a reservation to visit us later on an evening.
We are open, we are here to welcome you. Thank you once again for your ongoing support, it’s what allows us to continue to be here.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 29th July 2020
What a month. It’s been hard at times but so very humbling and gratifying. It was with great pleasure that we were able to announce some reopening dates for Fazenda restaurants in the last few weeks, we feel truly privileged given the current climate our industry is navigating.
Fazenda Manchester opened its doors once again last week on 22nd July and we are incredibly grateful for the warm welcome back we received from you, our guests. Reservations started coming in and we couldn’t wait to welcome you in our home again. The adaptations we have made to our concept and menu have been so well-received by those who visited us, and we have made further tweaks to them thanks to your constructive feedback. We were really pleased to hear our guests felt the safety measures we had put in place during this time made them comfortable and offered reassurance for their visits.
Demand has been really good although well below what we used to do, but we are sure that with time people will feel more comfortable visiting restaurants. For those who have yet to visit us, we hope they will see we are taking our responsibilities towards our team and guests very seriously, and this will give them the reassurance that visiting our restaurants is safe and this will allow us become busier soon.
Please see below a reminder of reopening dates:
Fazenda Leeds and Edinburgh reopen on 5th August and reservations are now live on our website.
Fazenda Birmingham reopens on 8th August and reservations went live this morning as well.
We will add more dates as they become available.
Something else I wanted to share with you is that we’ll be taking part in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme during the month of August (please follow this link to learn more about how the scheme works). Because our opening dates and times have changed slightly from what they used to be before lockdown please find them below:
Fazenda Manchester will open from 5pm on Tuesdays starting on 4th August through to Sunday.
Fazenda Leeds and Fazenda Edinburgh will open from 5pm on Tuesdays starting on 11th August through to Sunday.
Fazenda Birmingham will reopen on Saturday 8th August and will be open from 5pm on Wednesdays through to Sunday.
Lastly, you will be able to see that when making a reservation with us we now request card details. This is made in a secure way, we never ask for card details over the phone or via written communications, everything is done via our reservation widget or via a secure link if you have made your reservation through our reception team. You are not charged a deposit, you are only charged £10 per person should you not cancel your reservation with a minimum of 24h notice. We made the decision to put this in place due to the number of no-shows that we saw during the first 4 days of trading in Fazenda Manchester – there were 96 in total in those four days.
We are all operating at reduced capacities, we have fewer tables with more space in between them so we’re unable to welcome as many guests as we used to at the same time. Every no-show in a restaurant adds up and can put the livelihoods of teams at risk. We will continue to have the same level of communication with our guests for their reservations so you will continue to receive confirmations and reminders allowing you to cancel ahead with just one click should plans change.
We are all looking forward to welcoming you again in the coming weeks.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 7th July 2020
During the last few weeks since my last update we have been working hard planning our reopening stage; I’d like to thank you all for your patience, bearing with us during this time, and for your ongoing support.
There are a number of things that happen in the background ahead of an opening; from tomorrow you will be able to find on our website a full list of all safety measures that will be in place when you visit us.
In my last update I mentioned we were making a number of adaptations to our system and menu to ensure they are suitable and also safe both for our guests and our teams. On this week’s live session I’ll be sharing more about this, and I’ll be speaking with our Executive Chef Fran Martinez, who will walk us through our new menu. You can join us on Instagram at 6pm this Friday 10th July.
When it comes to the reopening stage, this will take place gradually, not all restaurants at once. This is because for us it’s important to take the time to put things in place and adapt them as necessary so that your Fazenda Experience is the best one possible.
Today it brings me great joy to be able to share with you details of our first two openings! I am delighted to announce we will be reopening our doors at Fazenda Manchester on Wednesday 22nd July and Fazenda Leeds on Wednesday 5th August. Reservations for both Fazenda Manchester and Fazenda Leeds through our website will be open from 9am tomorrow 8th July.
In the same way as I’ve done so far I’ll be communicating the rest of the opening dates for all other Fazenda restaurants and Picanha via here, our newsletters and our social channels. In the meantime we’ll be waiting to greet you with our usual warm South American welcome and celebrate our roots, cuisine and traditions once again!
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 23rd June 2020
Thank you for all the emails and messages you sent us last week, it makes us so happy to see so many of you are looking forward to visiting us.
Following my previous update I can confirm – as I mentioned last week – our opening won’t be during the first week of July regardless of today’s announcement.
I understand this may come as sad news to many of you who might have wished to make reservations for early July, but the reason behind this is that we want to make sure when we do open we have a safe environment for both our team and our guests and that we are operationally viable once we fully understand the government guidelines and the market.
This does not mean that we are not as eager as you are to have you over and be able to celebrate life, friends, family, and everything that is worth enjoying around a table of food and some great wine. We are so looking forward to having you again, trust me!
We’re working towards opening the second half of July, and we will do this on a ‘staggered’ basis, so not all restaurants will open at the same time. I’ll be able to share more details in the coming days via here.
Thank you for bearing with us, for your support and understanding during this time.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 18th June 2020
This week I shared a couple of posts on social media thanking you for the emails, private messages and posts you have sent and shared offering your ongoing support; these mean so much to us.
You have also asked us when we will be reopening, so I thought I’d share where we are at the moment.
As lockdown easing plans start to get some traction, the government continues to analyse the best ways to do this following both official international guidelines and also the experience other countries ahead of us have had so far.
Hospitality businesses have been given the green light for reopening as of 4th July. At the moment, however, we await for official guidelines in order to know which physical distancing measures we will put in place for our restaurants to be safe for both our guests and us. This is not a step we would wish to rush as we consider it to be an essential one. Those measures we put in place might be there for a little while so we want to ensure they’re the best possible.
As you might be wondering, our system will need some adaptations too, and we have been working hard on the planning and execution of a menu that will continue to have our South American traditions at its core but that will also be suitable in present and future.
We have received a few reservation enquiries so I wanted to let you know we are managing these manually because we don’t have an opening date yet (our reservation widget on our website will continue to show everything as unavailable for now) You can contact us via email (Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Picanha Chester) for future enquiries and we’ll be happy to help.
In the same way I’ve been doing it so far, as soon as we have further news with regards to our reopening I’ll be sharing them with you here. It’s been a long 3+ months and we’re really looking forward to being able to welcome you, our guests and friends, back to our restaurants.
Once again, thank you for your ongoing support.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 30th April 2020
Thank you once again for reading and for all your messages. Apologies for the slightly longer update I share with you today (this is after shortening it and editing it a few times!)
It’s now 6 weeks since we decided to temporarily close our restaurants, the most difficult decision we had ever faced up until that point.
For us, keeping people happy is much more than just a job, it is in our nature. We see the role of bars, pubs and restaurants as a key aspect of our way of life. Humans are social animals who thrive and need interaction to become better. I for one cannot imagine a world without the joy of meeting friends and family for food and drinks. Our industry feeds from seeing smiles in people’s faces.
Today I look at the prospect of losing all these amazing bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels (we should not forget that the tourism industry is also walking on extremely thin ice) and how life would look like in that potential stage, and I do not like what I see. I fear for how life could be after this storm has passed. The state in which our villages, towns, cities will be in this regard makes me feel sad.
I want to see a beam of light. Light that helps us all come out of this crisis knowing that life, although considerably different, will feel quite like it did before. That light for me is the hospitality industry. I want to see the same places I liked visiting all open and surviving, providing happiness to our communities and jobs as well, offering a sense of purpose.
Hospitality needs our help today.
We understand the government is already doing a lot, however, the truth is it will not be enough to save most of the hospitality businesses. The same businesses that are today helping the country in so many ways by giving accommodation and food for the NHS, food for the most vulnerable, providing volunteers, etc. There are many voices out there estimating over 50% of the businesses will shut down forever.
The industry is working together to let the government know what we need, and one of those things is a National Time Out, helping tenants with their rents.
We would be very grateful if you could take some time to read the petition, and if you’re happy to do so, sign it.
At Fazenda we are working very hard to have all the means needed to come back in a strong position, and we are confident we will in one way or another, but this is not just about us, this is about the whole industry including the smaller businesses and independents out there that risked everything and through no fault of their own are on the verge of the worst.
We will have to start from scratch, that we know, but as long as we have the business open after the crisis and we can continue making people feel special and happy, and can provide a purpose for our team, then we are ok with that.
On a different note, we have also started working with our local councils and through them helping local charities that are feeding the most vulnerable in each city. I am not here telling you because of PR but because I want to tell you how proud I am of this business we have built and the people who are part of it and are helping make this possible.
Someone recently told me that we do the right thing because it is the right thing to do! I wish we could do more, and within our capabilities we’ll always try and help, because even the smallest gestures can go a long way.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 23rd April 2020
I hope this update finds you and yours in good health.
We approach now the end of April and almost the sixth week since we had to temporarily close our doors. We have navigated the uncertainty that came with those first days, the guidelines and policies that followed, as well as the changes that were made to those after they were announced. None of these came without headaches and some level of stress but I am both proud of and grateful for our head office team, who has worked incessantly to ensure furlough was processed as smoothly as possible.
They are also working with me as we plan how things will work once all this passes. There are many question marks still with regards to timings and how lockdown lifting will look, but as always, we’ll communicate things to you all openly as information becomes available.
Planning during this time looks different than ever before because of those question marks I mentioned above, and many others too. Every single industry is treading unchartered waters and we will all need to adapt to what the new normal might look like, whether temporary or otherwise. I might come back in the coming weeks asking for your opinions on certain areas and will of course be thankful for any input you might offer us.
I have also been working with the team on different ways to help our immediate communities in Fazenda cities, and I’ll be sharing more details with you in coming updates.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for the support we have received via the purchase of gift vouchers and also all the heart-warming messages I have received from you (thank you for your patience as I replied to them too!)
People sometimes laugh when I say we created Fazenda to welcome our guests to our home, that we love getting to know them more and nurture a relationship with them, but it’s true, that’s who we are and that’s what we believe in. Your words during this time have been amazing and encouraging, thank you!
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 2nd April 2020
I hope you and yours are safe and well.
After my last update I’m pleased to say we were able to furlough our entire team, with the exception of a few members from our Head Office team, who will continue to work during our temporary closure. Sadly, due to the cut-off date of 28/2/20 set by the government, we have had to lay off a few team members. We hope, however, the government can review this and help us furlough them retrospectively.
This is a hard time for all of us, individuals, businesses, industries. We have not gone through anything similar in our time so we have to navigate the uncertainties as best as we can, one day at a time. We are working hard to be able to have a healthy business back open once this passes.
I’m pleased to see our teams keeping morale high. We use an internal communications platform and during this time they’re sharing everything from recipes they’re trying at home, books they’re enjoying, how they’re keeping fit – both physically and mentally, how they’re handling distance learning for their children, among others. The mental health of our team members is important for us, so it makes me happy to see them all interacting with each other – albeit through a screen – and supporting each other every day. You can find some of the things they’ve shared with us on our social media channels, so do take a look if you have a chance (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook).
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those guests who have purchased Gift Vouchers – both from Fazenda and Picanha – since our temporary closure began. Your support never ceases to amaze and humble us. For those who visit our website you will see we have made some slight changes to our Gift Voucher section. As we don’t have any teams on site at the moment if you purchase a Gift Voucher you will receive an order confirmation, after which our Head Office team will create and send an electronic Gift Voucher a few days later. This electronic version will work in the same way as our standard ones, however, if once we’re back open you would like to receive a physical one, that’s not a problem, just let us know.
Once again, thank you for your continuous support. It means so much for all of us here at City District.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 25th March 2020
I would like to offer a further update after our last. We are really pleased to say we have been able to retain all 400+ members of our team following the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
This worried us day and night, just like it did every other employer, and therefore our biggest triumph during this difficult time. We are still, however, awaiting for further Government clarity on how the scheme will work.
We debated the possibility of offering a delivery or takeaway service but decided against it as we believe Fazenda and Picanha are more than just food for our guests, they are an experience and we wouldn’t have been able to offer this through either of those. All our restaurants will therefore remain closed for the time being until we feel it is safe – following Government guidelines – to open again.
We are still doing everything in our power to maintain cashflow levels healthy to be able to open once this storm has passed, and we must thank all our suppliers, landlords and stakeholders for their support in this.
As I have mentioned in previous messages, should you wish to contact me with any questions please don’t hesitate to do so.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 19th March 2020
I’m writing today to let you know that we have made the decision to temporarily close all our restaurants (Fazenda and Picanha by Fazenda) with effect today 19th March 2020.
We believe that after careful consideration it is the right decision for both our business and the communities that we serve.
The truth is we know we’re not perfect and we will never be – who is, after all – but we have built and nurtured this company on the basis of care; care for our guests and for our teams, as there cannot be a happy guest if there isn’t a happy team.
Caring about the humans behind the roles has always been our premise, which is why the decisions we have had to make are possibly the hardest ones we’ll ever face. At this stage we are not completely sure about what the best way to support our teams is, which is why we are keeping an open line of communication with all of them over the next few days and weeks to ascertain this.
In a situation that is beyond anyone’s control we have done our best to adapt, to offer alternatives, to make any necessary changes in order to continue welcoming you all and offering you the experience we so love to provide.
We are not the only ones going through this. Every single bar, pub, restaurant, no matter how big or small, is powered by humans who fulfil roles, each and every one of those key to delivering a service, an experience. So I ask for compassion and understanding for all hospitality businesses, as each of them is trying to make the best possible decisions in an unprecedented climate.
Our main goal right now is to survive this storm to be able to welcome you all once again in our home.
If you had made a reservation to visit us in the coming days, don’t worry, our teams will be in touch. You can also contact the individual restaurants – Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Chester – and our teams will get back to you soon.
As I said in previous messages, should you wish to contact me please don’t hesitate to do so.
I take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continuous support over the last 10 years. We look forward to welcoming you again soon and enjoying great food and great wine, together.
Message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier, shared on 16th March 2020
Following today’s communication from the Government we would like to make you aware that all our restaurants – from both brands Fazenda and Picanha by Fazenda – will continue to be open for all guests. We have decided, however, to temporarily review our opening hours, having our last evening seating at 9pm between Sunday and Thursday.
The stricter sanitation and hygiene measures we put in place since last week will continue to be there (please see my message below from 12/3/20). I didn’t mention every single one of them so I take advantage to name a few more on this message. We are sanitising card machines after every use, as well as tills; we have a member of our team on every shift who is solely responsible for all sanitation of surfaces and touch points. Besides taking the temperature of our team members we are also taking the temperature of our suppliers’ delivery team when they visit our sites.
We have also made the decision to temporarily remove our Bar Food Menu in order to avoid serving finger food or food that is to be consumed without the use of cutlery.
Our reception team will be contacting our guests who are due to visit us in the coming days; if you are unwell or you wish to cancel your reservation for whatever reason please follow the link on your confirmation email or contact the relevant Fazenda or Picanha restaurant. Knowing about cancellations in advance allows us to plan ahead.
As a business – just like any other guest-facing business right now – we are working hard to ensure we go through this challenging time together and minimise the impact it has on all 400 members of our team as well as our guests. These are unprecedented times we’re all facing but we will do everything in our power to continue working together with our team to make you all, our guests, feel special when you visit us.
As I mentioned last time, if you have any queries at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
A message from our Managing Director Tomás Maunier – Shared on 12th March 2020
In the wake of the development of COVID-19 in several countries, I wanted to share with you some further information on the measures we are taking at City District.
The health and wellbeing of our guests and members of our team are of utmost importance, which is why we have been following closely the advice provided by the Government, NHS, PHE and PHS since last month.
We made the decision to enforce a self-quarantine of 14 days for any member of our team who had travelled to any affected areas, and we have restricted travel to these areas until further notice. We have requested our team members not to travel abroad unless it is an emergency and we have also implemented an on-the-spot temperature measurement of our team members at work.
Whilst hygiene and sanitation have always been part of our strict internal guidelines as a restaurant group, we have implemented a series of measures to ensure these are even stricter, including regularly sanitising door handles, supplying guests with touch-free hand sanitisers, replacing serving cutlery even more often than usual, among many others.
We will continue to monitor this situation as it develops and will keep you all updated.
We believe that if we all take the right measures and act responsibly we should be able to minimise the effect current circumstances have on our daily lives, and we should be able to do what we love doing the most, which is making all our guests feel special.
Should you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I take this opportunity to thank you for your continuous support.