Nearly 100 members of staff have been able to return to their jobs at restaurants along the coast following more than three months off.

The Hive Company has re-opened Hive Beach Café in Burton Bradstock, The Club House in West Bexington and The Watch House in West Bay, with no redundancies and 98 of their 101 employees getting back to work. Three staff members are still shielding.

Owner Steve Attrill said: “When March came, we had to furlough 101 people, everything shut down, we kept our online shop going and we had a lot of support from far and wide.

“We opened the Hive on June 1 as a takeaway, put all social distancing in place, we even had other businesses come down and see what our model was like, which was fantastic - a great accolade.

“The National Trust were fantastic, they opened the car parks and monitored them and if it got too much, they did one in and one out.

“After the end of June, we were given the go ahead to open The Watch House and The Club House. The response has been great.

Changes have been made at each site to implement social distancing.

At The Watch House, the team has launched click and collect ordering and ‘Thirstday Thursdays’ with cocktail and pizza deals and at The Club House, a marquee has been erected on the green for people to dine in.

Mr Attrill added: “We have had some fantastic support, people coming back and rebooking because they feel safe.”

The team also had a boost through lockdown with sales of their Hive Beach lobster t-shirts. Masterchef host John Torode was seen wearing a Hive Beach Cafe t-shirt when he appeared on This Morning doing a cooking demonstration from his home and set fire to a tea towel. This clip was then repeated on Gogglebox.

Mr Attrill said they were having to reorder t-shirts and get aprons printed as well.

The team are getting back into the swing of things at each restaurant, but in the 29 years of having The Hive, they have never had something like this before.

Mr Attrill said: “It’s like restarting a business from 29 years ago and thinking, ‘how can we do it?’.

“We’ve had tornadoes, foot and mouth disease and so many different things thrown at us, but nothing like this, this was the big one and it was just so quick.

“We’ve just got to look forward and rebuild. It just makes you think smarter.”