In Thoughts

Our UX solution for the return of the pub!

People in pub clinking glasses

The Pub. We’ve all missed it, but could we soon all be enjoying a cold pint? With plans in place to open pubs on the 3rd July, we set ourselves a challenge to come up with some creative solutions for a safe return.

The Current Problem

Pubs and bars aren’t always the cleanest places, with often hundreds of people gathering in a confined space and sharing glasses, tables and chairs. This could potentially make them great places for viruses as well as pub lovers.

After a few pints there is no guarantee that everyone will remember social distancing rules and this could also increase the spread of the virus.

Our Solutions


A ticket style system:

One of the big issues with traditional pubs and bars during a pandemic is the close contact while queuing at the bar. A ticket style system could remove this problem completely, so how would it work:

  1. You arrive at the bar and place your drink order on your smartphone, you are charged a small deposit for your glass. As soon as you place your order you are assigned a ticket number that is unique to your orderOrder of drinks receipt shown on phone
  2.  Your drink order comes up on a screen behind the bar for the bartender to make. The bartender picks up a glass and scans it so that it is assigned to you.  You receive a notification on your phone when your ticket number has been called, outlining which section of the bar you need to go to collect your drinkCollection zone 1 appears on mobile
  3. Once finished, the customer will return their glass which is fed into a glass wash machine and scannedGlasses being returned on conveyor belt
  4. Once it has been scanned your deposit will be returned. This stops bar staff having to handle hundreds of dirty glasses on tables and ultimately putting themselves at greater risk of the virusDeposit returned to the user shows on screen


Time Slots

Another issue that would have to be overcome is the number of customers allowed in a pub or bar at one time. Coronavirus is said to spread in close proximity, therefore pubs and bars would have to operate in a limited capacity in order to maintain social distancing. Allocated time slots could prevent this concern, but how could it work:

  1. You download an app developed for your cities pubs, bars, and restaurants
  2. The app displays all the 2 hour time slots available in different pubs and bars across the city
  3. Once a time slot becomes full up then it becomes unavailable to book
  4. Once you are booked onto a slot you are given a unique code
  5. Once you arrive at the pub or bar you will then only be allowed to place a drink on the app if you enter the correct code

Man holding phone on an app

These solutions would also need to be used in conjunction with other methods such as contact tracing. This would enable pub-goers to be notified when they have come into close contact with a fellow customer who has tested positive for the virus and enable them to self-isolate.

However, even with these solutions, there are still UX challenges. What happens if people don’t report their symptoms or they are too unwell to report the symptoms? What about the user experience for older users, could they use the app to order a drink?

What do you think, have we missed something? Tweet us @supremohq with your UX solutions for bringing back the pub.

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