Whether you have dined at a Wetherspoon pub or not, soon a feature the company are launching might become the norm in all pubs and restaurants.
Wetherspoon’s ‘Order & Pay’ app has been created to stop queues at the bar or tills. The way it works is simple; you give it your table number, order your food and drink and pay all at the same time. As soon as your food is ready it is delivered to your table, fuss free.
A statement on the company’s website says:
“Since its introduction, the Wetherspoon Order & Pay app has proven a big hit with customers and is now available in all of our pubs across the UK.
“No more queuing at the bar – just use the Order & Pay app, sit back and relax, and the order is delivered directly to you at your table.”
“Simple to use, the app has a scrolling menu feature, making it easy to browse the Wetherspoon menu (including club deals) and place your order. It also has a reorder function, to repeat your favourite purchases, for quickness and ease.”
The app was trailed in a few pubs and originally was only available on iPhone, but now Android users can use it too. The trials were successful so the app has been rolled out across all the 900 pubs in the UK and Ireland.
Whilst the idea might appeal to busy patrons, Wetherspoons have given several other reasons why people would want to use the app. They state that for someone who is with a young child and does not want to leave them alone at the table whilst they go up to order, the app is the perfect way of ordering and paying without having to leave the table.
“Not so mobile, or sitting a long way from the bar, and unable to easily negotiate a busy pub – use the app,” the site states. “Don’t want to carry a large round of drinks back through a packed pub or to have to make more than one trip to the bar? No problem – use the app.”
Whilst this may appeal to many busy businessmen and women, there are some who are heralding this as the decline of the traditional bar staff.
“I think the pub is somewhere you to go interact with people not just yourself,” says Heather Griffin. “And our generation is becoming so afraid of social interaction and this is just going to make it worse.”
“I wouldn’t like it if I worked there,” she says. “Serving people and getting to talk to them is the best part of the job, so it taking that away just takes all of the human aspects out of it.”
But what do users of the app think when they do order and pay with it?
“While it’s nice being brought a drink to your table, like you’re in an all-inclusive resort, it’s a bit of a crash back into the real world when it’s plonked on your table without a word being spoken,” said Ibrahim Salha, the Independent’s head of audience and a Wetherspoon fan.
“We remarked that it probably gets rid of an integral part of the pub experience — the service, charming or otherwise. No one really spoke to us and it’s easy to go there and get an experience similar to one of those ramen places in Japan where you order off a machine and sit in silence.
“However, when we had a problem with our order everything changed. The service shone like a welcome light in the darkness and the staff were happy to accommodate a mix-up where we forgot to order a drink that came free with the curry. Helpful and eager to please, they fulfilled an aspect the app could never replace.”
Kirsty Major, commissioning editor at Independent Voices was excited, and cautious in equal measures:
“The app was definitely a novelty, and trying it out with friends was fun, even if I did forget to order my free drink with my curry,” she says. “But I wonder how long it will be fun for until it just becomes normal and our interactions with other people in the pub, including the staff, becomes walking past each other on the way to the loo.”
Both patrons decided that they liked the app for several reasons; apart from getting food to the table quickly and with a minimum of fuss, it could also be of practical use to the disabled, or families that have difficulties getting to the bar.
Whether this will be the future of all pubs up and down the country, we can see some positives of using it as an additional tool, but not if it threatens the existence of bar-staff.
Source: The Independant