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‘Freedom Day’ has now been and gone and we’re partying like it’s 2019! But, although we can now go to the bar, the ‘order to your table’ apps are still very much in play, and it looks like they’re here to stay for several reasons.
Firstly, the investment in apps means pubs and bars are reluctant to ditch the tech.  And although born out of a necessity, many bars are finding it’s streamlined service for them and they’re now running a more efficient operation.
Of course, there’s also an environmental and a cost benefit from not producing hard copies of menus.
Plus, many consumers enjoy the relaxed ordering process and being allowed to peruse the menu at their leisure and order when they’re ready to do so.
But how does this effect the brands?
Less contact with staff means less bartender recommendations.  So, do brands continue to focus their efforts on bartender advocacy, or do they spend their budget on ensuring optimum visibility and messaging on customer apps?
Then, if brands aren’t engaging with the trade, what does this mean for bartenders?  No more freebies, trips to distilleries and paid influencer gigs – all huge perks of the job.  Will this have a knock-on effect on the number of people entering the profession? All things to consider when Covid has already caused many talented bar staff to leave the industry.
Additionally, if brands now need to pay for prime positioning on the app, what does this mean for new-to-market brands without the budgets to do so?  Simply being on shelf or in the fridge won’t have the same effect it did in 2019.
I’m aware I’m probably (definitely) catastrophising the repercussions of app use in bars, but I think it’s important to stop and think about it for a second.
Apps may now be the future, but let’s also make sure we futureproof the industry and not forget the simple pleasure of asking a bartender to recommend something delicious!
This article was written by Jaala Gallagher, Client Director.