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What ordering apps do you need to operate your post-lockdown pub?

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

App it: what apps can you use to help with your pub trading?
App it: what apps can you use to help with your pub trading?

Related tags: Coronavirus, App store

With uncertainty in the air around how and when pubs are likely to be allowed to open and under what rules, one thing is definitely certain - technology will play a huge part in kick-starting the return to business.

Traditionally, technology and pubs have maintained a somewhat awkward relationship, with a large number of companies struggling to find traction with innovative solutions to push the sector forward.

However, necessity is the mother of all invention, and the corona crisis has prompted operators to take a long hard look at their businesses and seek solutions in a wide range of new areas.

As a result, app technology is looking likely to have finally come of age in the UK on-trade as operators seek innovative solutions to help provide security and safety to staff and customers alike as we all adjust to the new normal, post-Covid market.

One of the UK’s more innovative operators summed the situation up recently, in an interview with The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​). Nick Collins said his business was now starting to change: “He added: “We are looking at ways in which the consumer might, perhaps evolve, change and how we can best change anything within our business to look after them better.

“One of the things we have looked at in the past is order-at-table apps and decided they weren’t something we wanted to introduce but now we are looking at that a little bit more closely.”

In the past, ordering apps will have had to face an uphill struggle from operators reluctant to cut back on the interaction and operational resource at the bar, while consumers remained reluctant to change their habits as well – table ordering? In a pub? Heaven forbid!

The crisis has changed all that and consumers will now be actively seeking the operators that are embracing this technology to create a comfortable ordering process for nervous customers.

As a result, the MA​ has teamed up with a number of ordering app providers to the market place to provide a round up of some of the solutions available to operators looking to embrace the new opportunities the market presents them...


Post lock down, operators will need to reassure customers that their health and well-being are the operators top priority if they are to win back trade over the competition, says John Sanderson of Sort-It™.


Customers need reassurance that they will not have to join queues to take a table, jostle for attention at the bar or queue for the toilets.

Reduced turnover will mean fewer staff, who will take those table orders? How will I maintain my service levels? How can I manage the toilets? This is where Sort-It™ steps in to provide an order at table solution.

Unique toilet request management prompts staff to implement your hygiene system in between

visits and simple phone touch screen menus provide a friction free ordering process, the only thing they need touch is their own mobile.

Sort-It™ displays a live running count of customers helping you remain inside your risk assessment capacity and can display customer messages i.e: Frequent hand washing recommended.

Requiring only Wifi or the customer’s own mobile phone data, there are no fiddly apps to download, Scan a QR code and Sort-It™ ‘opens’ a secure table that no one else can charge to without permission.

Orders are placed by selecting from menus that are time and day driven meaning that the correct menu is always on show (Breakfast before 11am and lunch after 12pm) – allowing you to save time - no more trips to switch and wipe down menus.

Use your existing till and kitchen printers or adopt card pay at table, the choice is yours, setup is easy and straightforward and assistance is at hand.

A simple flat monthly fee is charged based on the number of tables you serve, starting from £25 +VAT per month. As lock down eases more tables can be added and you can move between price plans.

There are no additional commission charges for cards or charges related to your turnover and your sales data remains private and is not shared.

Easy to set up, free trial and no charges until UK bar opening date - be prepared - get ahead of your competition visit www.Sort-It.co.uk


The digital menu and table ordering app, app2table, is the latest addition to the portfolio of apps from Image Retail Solutions, aimed at helping hospitality and retail businesses adapt to social distancing, post-lockdown. 


Patrons can order food and drink at the table, through the app, with orders being sent to waiting staff on their phones or tablets. When the order is ready to collect from the bar or service area, the customer is notified. 

As payment is all handled through the app, there is no need for staff to deal with cash or pin pads, reducing physical contact and the risk of infection. App2table can be used as a standalone solution, or fully integrates with supported EPOS systems to provide direct transaction entry to the POS. 

The app also supports home ordering for delivery and click & collect, for those establishments already offering, or are considering to offer, those services. 

Businesses can register on the app2table app to be included alongside other registered businesses for customers to find, or the app is available as a white-labelled product for businesses to exclusively brand and licence as their own app in the app stores. 

More information can be found at https://app2table.co.uk



“In just a few months Covid-19 has made social distancing a huge and complex reality in the hospitality industry,” Simon Kelton, Co-Founder & CCO of Pepper explains. “Pubs, bars and restaurants suddenly need to find ways to protect their customers and staff by offering mobile ordering and delivery to keep contact at a minimum, while still providing great service.

“Fortunately, Pepper’s market-leading mobile technology has been specifically designed for pubs, bars, restaurants, QSR’s and coffee shops to do exactly this and we are seeing a flood of requests to provide merchant branded apps to help deal with the crisis.

“Pepper has a decade of experience working with over 100 brands in over 700 locations from major enterprises like Young's Brewers and Revolution Bars to mid-market chains like Black Sheep Coffee all the way down to individual stores.

“Pepper’s platform is EPOS integrated, which allows us to develop, update and deliver a powerful set of features for a cost-effective price, including discovery, mobile ordering, digital loyalty, bar tab, e-receipts, push notifications, surveys, direct marketing and data analytics.

“While this is unquestionably a very stressful and disconcerting time for everyone in the business, by using Pepper hospitality companies can not only create operational systems for the new normal but can gather actionable data to understand their customers better while rewarding and influencing desired behaviour.

“Our app users are on average worth 20% more than regular customers and combined with queue time reductions and other benefits can produce an ROI of 300%.

“For more information please visit www.pepperHQ.com​ or email us at vasb@crccreUD.pbz​.”


“As pubs and bars across the UK plan and prepare for reopening, there is much that remains uncertain,” says Richard Carter, co-founder of OrderPay. “But one thing for sure is that with distancing measures in place and hygiene and safety front of mind, the way in which we drink and dine out will have to be markedly different.


“OrderPay is a hospitality ‘super app’ that supports a sector-wide coalition of leading eating and drinking out businesses across 6,000 venues. OrderPay technology provides a seamless ordering and payment experience, with no location or table number entry required. Payment can be made immediately or automatically taken on departure, with the option to split the bill before or after ordering.

“The ground-breaking order and payment app includes a number of innovative features that will be key for venues once trading resumes, including the following:

  • Leveraging beacon technology, the app automatically identifies where customers are sat in a venue, facilitating easy ordering and table service, minimising person-to-person contact
  • OrderPay ‘re-skins’ and locks the app to a specific brand as a customer crosses the venue’s entrance, so only your brand’s menu is accessible when in venue, eliminating the need for consumers to download numerous apps

“OrderPay has already partnered with leading operators such as Stonegate and Drake & Morgan, as well as developing OrderPay Lite, a version of the app which is tailored for leased and tenanted pubs. The app will be available from July to coincide with the reopening of pubs and bars.”

For more information, visit: https://www.orderpay.com/


With Tabology’s OrderTab a new customer can place an order on their phone as quickly and easily as ordering at the bar, the company says.

This is achieved by removing all of the barriers in the ordering process – there is no app to download (OrderTab is web-based) and no registration needed.

Customers simply scan a QR code and can immediately browse a menu and place their order. The table number can even be incorporated into the QR code, skipping the need to select a table.

Payment options include Apple and Google Pay so no card details need entering and payment takes seconds. All of this means a first-time user can place an order in less time than it takes to download an app.


OrderTab is integrated with Tabology’s BarTab EPOS so may mean switching EPOS to take full advantage of its features.

EPOS products automatically pull through to your OrderTab menu (which caters for modifiers, mixers, and timed availability). Any EPOS Promotions can be made available on OrderTab, and mobile orders feed into all of BarTab’s back office capabilities, from real-time reporting to stock tracking.

OrderTab is available for no monthly fee and 2.9% + 20p per transaction, or for a monthly fee of £79 and reduced transaction fees of 1.4% + 20p. The latter also provides the option to take payment in venue, taking advantage of the much lower card processing rates from using physical card machines.

OrderTab can also be used for any takeaway offering while you’re waiting to re-open.

For more information, Click HERE

Orderbee by Omnifi


Orderbee is an Order and Pay platform designed for pubs, bars and restaurants, including single and multi site operators. It’s been developed by Omnifi, a digital agency with experience of working with large operators like Marstons, Stonegate Pub Company and The Restaurant Group (Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s).

Orderbee is unique in the market, as it's an entirely self-serve platform. It’s a direct response to the suspension of in-venue dining, and what we anticipate will be a huge need for low cost and accessible mobile ordering as the industry starts to come out of lockdown.

Key features of Orderbee are:

  • It’s very easy to use – just set up your account, upload your menu items, and share your listing with customers in 15 minutes (no technical set-up, no need to involve IT)
  • It comes with an in-venue dashboard, that works on a phone, PC or tablet, for front of house and kitchen staff to manage food and drinks orders
  • Guests get access to a simple web based ordering interface, with payment via Debit or Credit Card, PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • It’s cost effective - just £80 per site with no commission from us, just Paypal charges for processing payments and no fees for guests

We hope that Orderbee is an innovation that will not only meet the needs of the on-trade right now, but also in the future. It goes live to self-serve customers on 22nd June, get more information and register here: https://orderbee.co.uk/

Bleep OrderPAY

The Bleep OrderPAY Self-Ordering Mobile Application allows customers to pre-order and pay for food and drinks from your very own mobile app and have it delivered to their home, collected for takeaway, or taken directly to their table.

Bleep order pay

The OrderPAY app has been developed by Bleep with hospitality environments in mind, to offer a robust and reliable platform to accept and process orders, maximising revenues. Expertly designed, our mobile ordering technology allows businesses in restaurant, bar, cafe, entertainment and many more environments to order and pay quickly, intuitively and securely.

OrderPAY is a white-labelled and highly customisable app – suiting your business, brand and menu perfectly, providing a seamless mobile ordering experience. Quick and easy to set up and even easier to maintain, OrderPAY works alongside your existing EPOS system and can help you enhance your customer experience and build lasting digital relationships with your customers.

Customers can view your menu, quickly and easily navigate the intuitive layout, then make an order with fast and secure payment via the app on their credit or debit card – all with no queuing and no fuss. Customers can order within your venue to their table, pre-order for collection, order a takeaway or even a delivery.

The Bleep OrderPAY Self-Ordering Mobile Application can drastically speed up your service, improve ordering accuracy and increase spend per head – allowing you to drive retention and revenue, and reduce costs. Whether for Delivery, takeaway or on-site orders, Bleep OrderPAY is fast, secure and dependable mobile ordering technology.

For more information: https://www.bleepplc.co.uk/orderpay-launch/ 


Swifty is a payment and loyalty app designed to help pub and bar operators manage a contact-free reopening, launched by Heineken. 

Operators can take orders on all food and drink menu items, incentivise visits and manage footfall digitally, without the need for physical contact with customers.


This means that publicans can meet social distancing guidelines, in addition they can gather insights about their customers’ purchasing behaviour by monitoring peak sales periods, buying preferences and demographic information.

It includes features such as promotions and loyalty campaigns designed to encourage repeat visits, and a reservation management feature so venues can monitor and manage footfall by letting customers reserve tables in advance.

The app starts at £24 per month and has three tiers of packages -  – Swifty Lite, Swifty Premium and Swifty Plus.

For more information: Swifty-app.co.uk/business


Wi5 is a fast, frictionless, and secure mobile Order & Pay solution, trusted by enterprise operators to help them serve more customers and increase revenues.

Wi5 prides itself on being a best-in-class mobile experience, designed by a world-class tech team to allow customers to easily find what they want, place orders and complete their payment in record time – following the highest security standards with ISO 27001 certification.

With no need to download an app or register, Wi5 is extremely easy and quick for customers to get ordering. They can access the brand-customised mobile ordering solution via a short URL, a QR code or clicking through from guest Wi-Fi.  From there, guests can simply order straight from menu, either for ordering to table or pickup, and pay via Apple Pay, Google Pay or credit/debit card.

Wi5 is designed to provide all of the vital mobile Order & Pay features for small and large operators, in one easy-to-manage solution:

  • POS-integrated or standalone set-up
  • Full suite of management tools, for menu enrichment, order management and reporting
  • Ability to manage multiple menus, out of stock, allergens, dietary info, offers and bundles.
  • Fully searchable menus, saved last orders, and Apple Pay / Google Pay to make it super quick and easy for customers.
  • A simple subscription model, with no set-up fees or commissions. 

For more information, head to www.wi5.io

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