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Pub charges customers more for ordering at the bar

The Coronation in Bristol has adopted the unorthodox practice of charging customers up to 50p more if they order their pint at the bar rather than through a QR code.

Ordering and paying for drinks via a QR code may be seen as a bit of a legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic, when social distancing rules prevented a customary walk to the bar to buy a round – but publican Ben Cheshire is keen to keep the system, introducing a two-tier pricing system to encourage customers to use it.

For example: a pint of Guinness costs £4.50 when ordered through via the QR code, and £4.80 at the bar, while a house lager goes from £3 a pint to £3.50 if ordered through an app.

As for why Cheshire has adopted a system that discriminates against in-person ordering, he was quoted in The Telegraph saying that it was for the sake of his staff.

“This is more helpful for our staff, that’s why I’m offering it. I’ve found that not having to be constantly serving people is way better for my mental health,” the publican argued.

“Bar work can be really mentally tiring,” he suggested. “This takes the stress away rather than having to constantly interact with different people for eight hours straight.”

When asked if such a measure is unfair to elderly people who are perhaps less adept with a smartphone, or maybe don’t have one at all, Cheshire said that he “lost” his “older crowd completely overnight” during the pandemic.

“I haven’t seen them since,” he said. “For years I had an older crowd in here, looked after them, had private events for them and things like that, so that’s not the angle I’m trying to go for here.”

In spite of Cheshire’s efforts to get customers ordering at the table, he claimed that around 90% still go to the bar to buy their round, even though it costs more.

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