9
May 02

Pubs aren’t the natural home for innovation.

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 257 views

Pubs aren’t the natural home for innovation. They are by their very nature traditional, even new chains and so called female friendly pub bars are loathe to break with the basic nuts and bolts facade of a pub. You go in, you buy your drink, you drink it. Table service – as mentioned before – is not natural in a pub. It is almost a compact with the bar staff – I’ll do half the work, in this case the fetching and carrying, and you do the pouring. Perhaps this is one of the secrets of a decent pub atmosphere, there isn’t a master/servant relationship between staff and customer. As we know from restaurants much of the time of the waiting staff is spent trying to be superior to the customer. These tensions arrive a lot less often in a pub.

So any break in tradition should be viewed with at least a degree of healthy suspicion. Self service beer taps – as tried in Yo Below for instance – they are a nice novelty but since they come with the idea of paying at the end of the night they return us to the bill paying culture. The idea of beer bottle vending machines have been mooted, would reduce queues at the bar and the chilling would always be perfect. However they may be prone to breaking, not to mention the head when the bottle was (auto opened) by the machine.

Equally hexagonal picnic tables in pub gardens. These near circular affairs manage to happily seat six to nine punters, but firmly belong in natural trust nature reserves, not in pub gardens. There is only one kind of table suitable for a pub garden, and that is the classic tiered picnic table. Slatting available for beer spilling accidents later, hole in the middle for largely needless and ineffectual parasol. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling.

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