How could my bar, pub or cafe use a website to help with social distancing? 

As things start to open up following the Coronavirus lockdown, more and more businesses are trying to find ways that they can work effectively under social distancing requirements. One of the trickier industries are that of food and drink businesses where the public would usually have to approach a counter to make an order.

We speak to many people each day about how clever website design can help make their business run more efficiently. Given that there are new requirements for businesses to follow to keep safe, we have come up with some ideas where a website may be able to bars, pubs and cafe's run as smoothly as possible. 

The problem

It's one thing limiting the amount to people allowed inside the building, but for outlets that would usually see customers congregate at a bar to place orders for food and drink, there is increased risk of not only too many people in place, but how close they could be to your staff.

The logical idea is to only provide table service, but this is still going to require staff to check on tables and walk between the different customer groups regularly. While some establishments already have their own systems and apps that could allow customers to place an order remotely, implementing such a system could take a long time and get expensive. What if their existing website could help?

Online ordering

The simple idea is to use E-commerce capability on the existing business website. List the menu, allow people to fill a basket and then pay using their choice of PayPal or Payment card. The bar could receive an email, see the order and deliver it. While this solution solves having to take payment on delivery, it would take time for e-commerce to be set up on the website, customers may forget to include details such as a table number and there would be no easy way to communicate with the staff or ask for help and guidance.

Contact forms

Instead of forcing customers to pick from a predetermined list of items, you could use our great contact forms to take simple information such as an order or table number and then the bar stuff could receive the information over email. These forms could be customised for various needs, perhaps with multiple choice options rather than making visitors type out every requirement. In this situation, staff could bring the order to the table, along with a contactless terminal for payment.

Online chat

What if instead of the one-way communication of a contact form, we utilised an online chat capability allowing real time messages between the visitors and staff. Now we have the option of placing an order, staff querying any requirements and either delivering or letting the table know when the order is ready to collect from the bar. Online chat could be further enhanced with Chatbots who could ask for a table number or provide social distancing advice before taking an order and informing staff.

While it will take some time for businesses to find clever ways of getting used to the new normal and the challenges of social distancing, we are more than happy to have a chat about how our great tools could help get things running smoothly and keeping safe.



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