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Apps are proving especially useful as pubs and restaurants open their doors under the ‘new normal’


Last weekend, pubs and restaurants in England were finally able to open back up after months of forced closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The need to social distance has meant that new policies and procedures have had to be implemented in order to welcome back guests safely. These measures have included the need to change how orders are placed, offer reservation-only services, contactless payments and in some venues, pre-registering of customer details for track and trace efforts to control the virus should someone become infected.

While this is all very different to the carefree dining and nights out we’re used to, there is one other notable change; apps for the hospitality industry are now more vital than ever.

In venues up and down the country, we’re seeing apps now being put to use in a multitude of ways to help reduce physical contact between customers and staff and allow venues to safely open back up again.

If you haven’t yet got your app for your bar or restaurant, here are some of the key features to factor into your design in this ‘new normal’:

Reservations: One absolute must for your new app design is a reservation system. Many food and drinks venues now require guests to reserve a table with no walk-in service available. Having a reservation system on your app allows you to manage capacity so that you can ensure guests and staff stay safe with adequate room to maintain the recommended 1 metre plus distance from others.

A reservation system for bookings delivered via app also frees up staff time which is especially useful if you’ve had to furlough your team and are running with less hands on deck than usual.

Ordering: The increased hygiene requirements mean plastic or paper menus are a thing of the past in many establishments. An electronic menu, which is hosted on the app, means diners and drinkers don’t need to touch common surfaces such as menus, helping them to stay safe. A digital app also means you don’t need to worry about ordering and recycling thousands of single-use paper menus.

Digital payments: If, like many establishments, you’re encouraging customers to pay with card where possible, your app could also facilitate digital payments using systems such as Apple Pay. This again means that hygiene standards can be maintained, with no physical money changing hands. It’s also efficient and modern, and very convenient for the customer.

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