With social distancing rules and regulations leaving “normal” customer serving methods challenging, and for the smaller, independent venues we all know and love, finding a solution is proving panic-inducingly difficult.
In a post COVID-19 lockdown world, as the hospitality industry looks towards this “new normal”, our innovative app, RoundTab, was created to support venues and help the industry.
Our small UK-based team has been developing the software since July as a direct response to the government’s social distancing guidelines to assist venues in resuming to business as usual.
The app has been created with the view to help bars, restaurants, pubs, cafes and venues reopen in a responsible and efficient way, there’s absolutely no upfront setup fees, and it’s already proven to be really easy for venues to get customers ordering online within minutes.
Our app, which requires no app to download, is streamlined, allowing customers to buy food and drink from their table by visiting a webpage or scanning a QR code.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for hospitality venues so far
On 16th March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised everyone in the UK against "non-essential" travel and contact with others, as well as suggesting people should avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, and work from home if possible.
Just a few days later, the government announced the closure of public venues, such as pubs, restaurants, gyms, leisure centres, nightclubs, theatres and cinemas.
During this time restaurants have scrambled to reinvent themselves by pivoting their business models to adapt to the realities of government restrictions. Some restaurants became takeaways, bottle shops, delicatessens, while others had been selling hampers, fresh meal-kits or offering cookery courses.
In July, in England, new regulations made it compulsory to wear face coverings in most indoor shops and public spaces. Face coverings remained optional in some indoor venues where wearing a mask might be 'impractical', such as restaurants and gyms. Exemptions made for children under 11, individuals with physical or mental illness or disability, and for anyone to whom it might cause distress.
In September, pubs had been told to close every day from 10pm to 5am, and households not allowed to mix.
From 5th November, hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; except when providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
From 2nd December 2020, those in tier 3 will face a new challenge as all in-person dining is suspended.
As of 5th January 2021, to reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. This includes hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; except for providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
As of 27 January 2022, Venues and events are no longer required to check visitors’ NHS COVID Pass. There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. People are still advised to wear one in crowded and enclosed spaces where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet.
As of 24 February 2, Businesses are no longer recommended to display NHS QR posters or collect contact details from customers.
Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés or takeaways
The government issued guidance for businesses, in addition to following their guidelines, our app can help you to adhere to the guidance in a number of ways, in particular:
- Customers can order and make payments at their table
- Customers can purchase alcohol at their table
- Allows you to choose when you're open for trading or not
- Allows you to provide food and drink for takeaway
We're constantly looking at the law, and coming up with new and innovative ways to help establishments adapt to these changes.