The new social-distancing app helping South Tyneside pubs and restaurants bounce back

The software team behind a hospitality app have told how it is helping pubs and restaurants in South Tyneside keep customers safe as covid restrictions lift

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:53 am

Some 20 venues in the borough have signed up to the W8R app.

They include the Sand Dancer pub and Bar 52 in Sea Road, as well as the Namaste Indian restaurant and Trimmers Arms pub.

The app is designed to help manage service according to the new demands made of the sector and to de-congest busy periods for hospitality providers, according to the director of the W8R APP project, Kalvin Banks.

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“You sit down at a table in a beer garden, for instance, and the QR code is already there on the table,” he said.

“You simply scan the QR code. That will then take you to the app store where you download the app – and from there a number drinks options come up.

"So it’s really easy to use. You just add things to your basket and then check them out with Apple Pay.

"You can also track your orders with it. Customers can generally sit down, scan the QR code and place an order within around 30 seconds – even on their first use.”

The W8R app is being used by nearly two dozen hospitality venues in South Tyneside at present.

The company has been in talks with local businesses during the various lockdown periods, he added, with the app itself having launched in time for the reopening of pubs and restaurants last year on July 4, 2020.

The app had been initially developed several years beforehand as a tool designed to ‘streamline’ service in hospitality and leisure settings.

Mr Banks explained: "The idea in 2017 was just to streamline it, to make it so that customers could just order from their own phones – so they wouldn’t have to wait for a waitress to come over and take their order.

“As soon as you need a drink, you can simply scan a QR code on the table and you could place another order.

The W8R app directors Chris Blench, Kalvin Banks and Christiano Crawford.

"We’re hoping it will help businesses in the area bounce back after all the challenges and the setbacks of the pandemic.”

The group has secured menu agreements with around 100 North East pubs and restaurants – with about 20 of those in South Tyneside – alongside several other venue partnerships in Sheffield, Nottingham and London.

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Around 20 businesses in South Tyneside have signed up to the app, according to Mr Banks.

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Around 20 businesses in South Tyneside are operating with the app, according to Mr Banks.