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Preston venue owner develops new app to help bars and restaurants survive coronavirus crisis

Posted on - 14th June, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Food & Drink, Preston News, Pubs, Restaurants in Preston, Takeaways
Baluga Bar Pic: Tony Worrall
Nick co-owns Baluga Bar and Club Pic: Tony Worrall

A Preston venue owner is launching a new app to help other bars and restaurants adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Nick Carter, who co-owns Baluga Bar and Club, Wedge Pizza Co. and The Winter Lodge, has used his previous experience as a developer to create Table Order.

The app aims to keep workers and customers safe by enabling food and drinks orders to be placed from smartphones.

Nick said: “As a venue owner, I’ve put everything – financially and in hours – into building up business and investing in my future. Then the pandemic happened and put a stop to everything.

“I’ve had countless conversations with my business partners Ryan and Hiran about what we will do when it’s time to reopen, and how we’ll go about it.

Nick (left) with business partners Hiran and Ryan
Nick (left) with business partners Hiran and Ryan

“Over the past few weeks a big part of these conversations was that services and apps on the market didn’t do what we wanted, or charged ridiculous fees, which only seem to have increased during lockdown.

“After a few weeks of worrying, I decided to use some of my time to put together a free app for my business and a couple of friends to use for pre-orders, ordering to the table, collection and deliveries.”

Read more: Rift Bar Preston looks to have closed for good due to coronavirus pandemic

Since then, Nick has spent many hours developing the app. He enlisted Hiran to help with the design and Ryan to assist with signing up users.

He said: “The main focus of an app like this is to avoid queues and people congregating together. Most bars and pubs locally won’t be able to have a two-metre-distanced queue, so Table Order will help them avoid that issue.

“It’s not just about what venue owners want – some people will be reluctant to come back out and socialise when they’re allowed. All venues will be committed to keeping areas extra clean, and if the customer doesn’t have to go to the bar to order, that should make them feel a bit more safe.

“In addition, the app will reduce waiting times and the frustration of being in a scrum at the bar, waving your hand to try and catch the attention of the bar staff.”

Read more: How Preston’s independent eateries are reopening and adapting to lockdown

What started as a small project has now grown into a large community of users.

Nick said: “We’ve made lots of friends and contacts while we’ve been putting the app together, and it really seems like it is helping.

“Hundreds of users from all different sectors are now using the app, including bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, cake shops and more. We’re building in features that are being requested by the community every day.

“It feels great to be able to do this for free and give something to venue operators who will be struggling and worried about how to return to some sort of normality.”

Read more: New food delivery service aims to rival Uber Eats while keeping money in Preston

Nick is now working on a paid version of the app to meet demand for bespoke features.

Find out more about the service on the Table Order website, or follow the Facebook page.

Read more: Food and drink news from Preston

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What do you think of Table Order? Would you use it? Let us know in the comments.

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