"Works perfectly well in other countries." - our readers’ share their thoughts table service in pubs and bars after July 19

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement earlier on this week, July 19 is set to be the day that sees the lifting of a number of restrictions across the country. One of these will be the requirement that pubs and bars provide a table service facility across all venues.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 3:36 pm

Table service was a new addition that has been appreciated by a number of people up and down the country, while being lamented by others who yearned for a return to ‘traditional practice’ that saw people queuing at bars or sitting next to them. We asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter what they thought of the end to the requirement, and whether they would like it to remain or if they couldn’t wait for it to go. Here are a selection of their comments on the topic:

Craig DW would like it to remain, saying, “Yes, ordering from the bar should be a thing of the past, like people pushing in, bar staff just serving people nearest to them, a lot more civilised now.”

Zaphod Beeblbrox, which is definitely a real name said, “Best thing to come out of covid, been doing it in North America for ages.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: Bar staff serve beer for table service in the garden of the The Duke of Kent pub which reopened at lunchtime today on April 12, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. England has taken a significant step in easing its lockdown restrictions, with non-essential retail, beauty services, gyms and outdoor entertainment venues among the businesses given the green light to re-open with coronavirus precautions in place. Pubs and restaurants are also allowed open their outdoor areas, with no requirements for patrons to order food when buying alcoholic drinks.  (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: Bar staff serve beer for table service in the garden of the The Duke of Kent pub which reopened at lunchtime today on April 12, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. England has taken a significant step in easing its lockdown restrictions, with non-essential retail, beauty services, gyms and outdoor entertainment venues among the businesses given the green light to re-open with coronavirus precautions in place. Pubs and restaurants are also allowed open their outdoor areas, with no requirements for patrons to order food when buying alcoholic drinks. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Richard Long said, “For me, definitely, absolutely hate standing around the bar, much prefer to order my drinks from the table...” and Eddie Hudson also appreciated the additional service, saying, “Yes it’s the future especially when your outdoors, it’s got a relaxed feeling about it.”

This was something that struck a chord with Tracey Doyle Beck, who commented, “Yes, works perfectly well in other countries.” Kay Manthorpe would also like it to remain, saying, “let’s keep the good things that have happened in Covid.”

Another one of those who was firmly in the ‘YES’ team was Richard Matthews, who said, “It has been a source of annoyance to me all my drinking life how people sit at the bar drinking and thereby impeding others from buying drinks so my answer is an emphatic, YES!”

Not everybody wants table service to remain and they would prefer to see things go back to how they were before Covid.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: Bar staff serve beer for table service in the garden of the The Duke of Kent pub which reopened at lunchtime today on April 12, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. England has taken a significant step in easing its lockdown restrictions, with non-essential retail, beauty services, gyms and outdoor entertainment venues among the businesses given the green light to re-open with coronavirus precautions in place. Pubs and restaurants are also allowed open their outdoor areas, with no requirements for patrons to order food when buying alcoholic drinks. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Darren Arthur replied saying, “No, bars can't afford the extra staff for a start. Unless you are willing to pay more for your drinks.”

One who is definitely happy to see the back of such a rule is Chris Gebhardt, who said, “No, not a bloody cafe, it’s an English pub that’s what pubs are famous for.” Geoff Morton on the otherhand kept it short, “No.”

Charlotte Heathcote-Brown responded, saying, “No, I think staff have enough to do without running back and forth ordering people food &drink plus I like ordering at the bar and been able to have a chat with people.”

Leanne Fearn isn’t a fan either, she said, “No I bloody wouldnt! Last time I went to a pub and ordered on their app, I was waiting from 6.35pm -7.20pm for my drink! No point even going out!”, you alright there? Seem a little frustrated. Don’t worry, all over soon.

Laura Farrell says, “Nope, I like to go to the bar and order my drink.”

And, Patrick Meaney said, “no, i’ve always liked standing or sitting at the bar if just out for beers with mates. imo tables are for sitting at for eating.”

Someone who is looking forward to the change is Angela Freeman, who replied, “from a front of house member it causes too many problems, bring back coming to the bar ordering, taking your drinks back to your table, job done.”

And quite a few people were also fine with how it was before and how it is now.

Kevin Rodgers, said “If people want to be served at there tables, let them continue ......but don't stop people going to the bar and ordering drinks has per NORMAL” — surely the choice of both is a good thing, wherever possible?

A fair number of people liked having the service as an option, whereas some were hankering after a return to normality. Ultimately, it comes down to choice and choice is king, providing that the venue is capable of providing the facility going forward. Especially from a staffing costs perspective. Sadly, we couldn’t include all of the responses but perhaps it is food for thought for some venues that have the capacity to continue delivering this service.