Traceable back to the taverns of the Roman era, pubs have a long history in the UK and are somewhat of a British tradition – particularly at Christmas and on a cold, Sunday afternoon. But just how do they need to change in order to adapt to the age of technology?
With pubs across the country presented in such a varied manner, there is no one step answer to ensure that they can adapt to providing the technology requirements that the modern customer wants. But through listening to customer requests and looking at their demographic it becomes easier to discover what they need to aim for.
For example, a bar like All Bar One in the centre of London will have much different technology requirements to that of a standalone village pub in the middle of the Cotswolds. All Bar One has a focus on a customer that works in the City, and enjoys a cosmopolitan lifestyle. They will typically have a fluid understanding of technology and therefore naturally expect things such as contactless payment and good mobile signal, if not free WiFi, when they visit.
This means that it suddenly becomes a requirement for bars and pubs to focus not just on the food and drink they serve, but on the experience of the customer and ensuring that there is no reason for them not to come again. After all, whilst it may be a generational issue, there are many patrons that might avoid revisiting a pub or bar because there is poor mobile signal – this is a generation where dating apps, for example, are on the rise and people want to be connected at all times. You wouldn’t want a lack of mobile or internet connectivity to be the reason somebody misses out on the love of their lives!
Is the change a necessity?
It might be argued that pubs are a place of solitude or simplistic places to catch-up with friends and that introducing the ability to use your phone at all times whist you are there further archives the art of conversation. But I simply don’t believe that is true.
People now are used to multi-tasking, and also are used to having the wonderful resource that the internet is at their fingertips. Not being able to keep in touch with family whilst you are there, or failing to be able to “tag” yourself at your current location both impacts upon customer experience and also possible organic marketing too!
Whether it’s clarifying the answer to a discussion, pub quiz or keeping in touch with somebody who is not able to join you – connectivity is important in this modern age, so much so that many believe access to the internet should be added to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Thus looking to ensure your establishment is technology, and therefore customer, friendly is more important than ever. Providing connectivity in whichever shape or form, whether it be 4G mobile connectivity or Internet across WiFi – your customers expect it and these days almost certainly require it.