Pubs turning to hot desking to recoup lost evening trade

2 min read

Lockdown, social distancing, and WFH have become prominent features in our language over the last few months, however, a new term could be finding its way into our vocabulary soon; working from the pub (WFP). Years ago, who would have thought in 2020 we could be digitally working from the pub…work drinks, anyone?

A recent article from BBC News suggested that pubs are beginning to change their business model due to the latest COVID19 restrictions of the 10pm curfew. In this article, a village pub in Kent has stated, "If we can't get people in after 10pm we're going to have to try and bring them in before 12pm." Therefore, pubs are turning into digital offices, the new alternative to hot desking. Could this be the answer the pub sector is needing to boost revenues and stay afloat?

According to the Business Insider, some are jumping on the bandwagon with "over a dozen British pubs" already offering booking packages through social media pages that offer a table to work from with a plug socket, high-speed steady internet, and options of unlimited tea/coffee with lunch for a fixed price varying from £7 to £10.

This is apparently not as new as some might think, the Scottish independent craft brewer and pub operator, BrewDog, was trialing 'DeskDog' back in March 2019 as a new initiative, reported in The Morning Advertiser (did they have a crystal ball?). BrewDog now offers season passes across their UK venues and go as far as offering stationary and printers. This could also be seen as a welcoming opportunity for larger pubs with now empty private function spaces to claw back lost revenue of cancelled events, weddings, and milestone birthday celebrations that are a distant memory.

With most UK workers being advised now to work from home again and the initial novelty of WFH worn off, it could be a welcomed change of scenery from the cramped kitchen table. It does appear to have an appeal with workers, as according to South Wales Argus, the Farmers Arms pub in Goldcliffe has "had a huge response to this, with bookings coming in thick and fast".

Within simpleERB, you too can quickly and easily adapt and join fellow pubs in taking advantage of hot desk bookings today. You can set up a WFP hot desk offer, using booking offers,  which are bookable right from your widget and filter into your diary. You could then use this booking data to follow up with these customers later about other promotions, once things hopefully return to a "new normal" trading service. To find out more about what simpleERB booking offers can do for you, click here.