July the 4th is the date pubs in England can open again provided social distancing measures are in place. These seem to range from recording patron details to no ordering at the bar. Whilst chains will no doubt have apps already, independents won’t have the resourcing, or the long term need, to commit to anything expensive. Also, as the situation is so fluid, apps need to be equally so. Glide seems perfect.
Glide lets anyone who can handle a spreadsheet develop an app for free. I’ve blogged about it before, or look at the Glide site. However, for my independent ale house scenario, here’s what I’ve knocked up in under an hour.
The Google sheet
The sheet is simple. I only defined the first four tabs. The two App: tabs were added by Glide to manage login and its Chat tab (which I’ve renamed Order). Glide is great as it does the complicated stuff for you! The Glide Builder is very easy to understand and use.
The ‘Go local’ app
So it just has a few tabs. Cheers is your landing page. Beers could show what’s on tap. Rules is for the house rules regarding social distancing and keeping safe. Events is obvious, and Order is how you could keep the beers flowing. Unfortunately, food and drink icons require a Pro upgrade, so I’ve assumed that everyone loves beer.
Please note that I’ve no idea when my local The Volunteer Arms will open. Soon I hope. This post is in no way associated with this fine establishment. I just took the picture for this post. Also, I don’t drink lager that often. But I am partial to a packet of cheese and onion.
Getting a round in
For the Order tab I’ve used Glide’s out the box Chat capability. Anyone doing this for real would need to decide if they would take orders through the app. Chat could be used. Drinkers have to use their pin verified email address to message. Everyone using the app sees all messages. Deleting messages has to be done in the Glide Builder. This is easy enough, but does mean that the bar would need to have a laptop handy for anything inappropriate (such as a shandy 🙂 ).
As you can tell, I’ve not explored the drinks ordering aspect in detail. This post is just saying that Glide is worth a look. Many pubs might be happy enough with a purely informational app, and pen and paper for ordering.
A new normal?
Once we think we are back to normal, pubs may decide to keep their apps going as a way to communicate with their regulars. If they give Glide a go and see how easy it is, I’m sure some will. In many ways it’s easier than maintaining a website.