The apps you need to book tables and order food and drinks at pubs when they reopen


PUBS and bars are set to reopen on July 4 but punters will need to make sure they bag a table before arriving and order drinks to their table.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this week that Brits in England will finally be able to enjoy a pint in their local pub, although only a maximum of two households can meet up at once.

Pubs will have to stick to new social distancing rules when they reopen

Customers will also be limited to table service where possible, and businesses will have to note down the details of each punter so they can trace each person in the event of an outbreak.

But as venues are encouraged to ditch ordering at the bar, lots of pubs are instead encouraging people to use apps, with some of the largest chains already taking bookings in anticipation of a rush of visitors.

Here are some of the apps you might want to download – just bear in mind the rules on pubs reopening outside of England are different so some of the apps may not be available to use UK-wide yet.

In Scotland, beer gardens can reopen from July 6 and indoor restaurants can go back into business from July 15, while Northern Ireland says pubs and restaurants can reopen for table service only from July 3.

Wales is yet to confirm its position.

Greene King

Greene King wants customers to download the app to help social distancing

Greene King is planning to reopen pubs from July 6 and you will be able to book tables from midday today.

To avoid the need to queue and to help reduce contact within pubs, the chain is advising its patrons to download its app ahead of a visit.

The app will allow you to view the menu, order food and drink, and pay for your bill, with all drinks and meals served directly to your table.

Some of Greene King’s pubs are also currently open for takeaway, and you can use the app to order food before collecting it.


The Harvester app lets you book a table before you arrive

The Harvester app lets you book a table at one of the chain’s pub restaurants in England for now.

Once you are there, you can also pay your bill via the app, reducing your contact with staff.

Harvester is also running an offer at the moment, where if you collect four stamps through the app, you’ll be rewarded with a free main meal on your next visit. 


Nicholson’s app could be your ticket to a table in your local

While the Nicholson’s app doesn’t let you order drinks to your table, it does allow you to reserve a seat in your local, which could prove invaluable.

If you sign up the pub chain it will send you a voucher so you can get your next pint or gin and tonic for £1. 

OrderPay – works at Stonegate pubs and more

OrderPay is being rolled out in some pub chains

This app isn’t linked to any particular chain, but is used by a number of pubs, including Drake & Morgan bars and Stonegate, which owns a number of brands.

It cleverly identifies where customers are sat in a venue using beacons fixed to tables, making ordering food and drinks to your table easy.

Once you’ve finished, you can just pay on the app and go. 

Slug & Lettuce

Order your food via the Slug & Lettuce app to limit social contact

Slug & Lettuce boasts that you can “order food and drink quicker than you can take a selfie” from the comfort of your table by using its app.

You can also use it to pay, but it doesn’t currently let you book a table.

Swifty – at Heineken pubs

Swifty has been developed by Heineken

This app launched by beer giant Heineken is aimed at helping its 2,700 pubs go contact-free when they reopen.

Customers will be able to book a table, order food and earn loyalty points via the app.

It hasn’t launched yet so we don’t know yet exactly which pubs will be using it, but it is sure to be popular as brands try and navigate the new rules.

Vintage Inns

Like lots of chains, Vintage Inns offers deals through its app

Vintage Inns has 184 pubs across the UK, mostly in rural settings.

Its app lets you book a table so you can reserve your spot easily.

You can also pay your bill through the app, so you don’t need to wait for it to be brought to you.

The chain is also currently running a deal that if you download the app and register, after two visits, you will get a free starter or pudding when you order a main.

After four visits you will get £20 off when you spend £40 or more.


Wetherspoon customers can order food and drinks straight to their table

The Wetherspoon app allows anyone with an iPhone or Android phone to order food and drinks to their table, without leaving their seat.

You can also pay via the app by scanning your card, or using Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal.

The chain is planning to reopen 750 pubs from July 4 – so you can be one of the first through the doors.

But customers can’t currently book a table for when Spoons reopens.

Some local pubs have warned they are already booked up on July 4 and won’t be letting people in without a reservation.

We took the first look inside a post-lockdown Greene King pub.

Here’s more information on how to book a table at Wetherspoon, Greene King, Punch Taverns, Stonegate Pubs and Sizzling Pubs.