Redefining the pub experience - smartphone ordering looks set to stay

Gabby Fernie

According to a study by Flipdish, the pandemic may have changed our pub experience forever. 

Smartphone ordering has proved extremely popular, with 80 per cent of Brits keen for digitalisation to stay. Not only has the use of pub and restaurant apps kept people safe during the pandemic but it's come with many other benefits, including maximising time with loved ones instead of queuing at the bar. 

Almost half of single people (49 per cent) are keen to keep payments digital, indicating that when it comes to dating, they want to avoid the awkward bill moment at the end of the meal.

Additionally, 1 in 4 (26 per cent) of 18-24 year-olds prefer digital ordering and payment options so they can keep an eye on their bank balance, consume at their own pace and avoid getting tied into expensive rounds, highlighting how especially badly this age group has been financially hit by the pandemic.

According to the study, 50 per cent of women feel that easy online booking of pub tables has made their social lives easier, helping to avoid wasting valuable time trying to find a venue with space to accommodate catch ups, after work drinks and pub lunches.

One in four (26 per cent) also think that viewing menus digitally should be here to stay in a bid to be more hygienic and cut down waiting times after they’ve been seated.

“Whilst digital ordering was originally implemented to keep customers and staff safe after the first lockdown lifted, it’s become evident that it has a whole host of additional benefits. Pubs are such a vital part of UK culture, and helping Brits maximise the enjoyment of the time they spend in them is important for the future of the hospitality industry" said UK Country Manager of Flipdish, Fionn Hart. 

"We’ve witnessed the resilience of pubs and bars around the UK during the pandemic as they launch delivery boxes and transform car parks to dining areas, and this innovation has been key to the survival of the industry. With punters declaring that they want ordering online to stay to feel safer, avoid long queues and get manage their spending better, it looks like COVID-19 may have reshaped the future of the industry.”