The co-founder of Bongo’s Bingo and its CEO, Joshua Burke, is launching his brand-new venture in July.
With co-founders Carl Whiteside and Lewis Allbones, the trio have been working on their project for 3 years, identifying several crucial ways to improve how customers engage with the vast and varied hospitality industry across the country. They also welcome David Gallimore to the team, who has helped to create large-scale marketing-tech platforms for many of the UK’s leading hospitality companies, SMEs and independents, supplying similar solutions to Wetherspoons, Pizza Express, Mitchells and Butlers, Greene King, Fullers and more between 2003 and 2019
Glug is an innovative free app to order food and drink in advance, connect users with venues and plan social time with friends and family. Benefits of the launch version of the app include:
- Full menus to order from through mobile devices, computers and tablets
- Reduces queues with quicker and more efficient service
- Maintains safe social distancing measures – for example, minimising the time spent waiting for staff to serve your table
- No cards or cash – everything is ordered and paid for through the app, with less contact
- Helps brands communicate directly with customers
Later versions of Glug will include many more exciting features.
Glug will bring everything into one place with thousands of venues listed. It works for every kind of hospitality business, from the smallest countryside pub to the biggest nightclub or high-end eatery, to independent cafes, delis, intimate bars, bakeries and high street chains. Glug have been speaking to owners and operators across the UK, using this feedback to help refine the app.
As social distancing is gradually relaxed, in the coming weeks the hospitality industry will open its doors again and face new challenges in the new Covid-19 normal. Glug will help many businesses adapt successfully to these unprecedented changes.
Several high-profile investors are already poised to join the Glug revolution and it heralds a major new opportunity for investment as the country comes out of lockdown. Josh brings his own business acumen to Glug, from co-founding Bongo’s Bingo with Jonny Lacey and turning it into a global phenomenon. They have sold close to 2m tickets in 5 years and created the leader of the UK’s experience economy industry, with shows in 50 different locations.
“We have raised £250,000 of investment already,” Josh explains. “We are launching Glug to support the hospitality industry as bars, restaurants and pubs across the UK reopen. We work with many of them through Bongo’s Bingo and the wider hospitality circles we are all part of. And with David on board, we have got his many years of vital experience in this area too. Glug is something we all passionately believe in. We have seen what kind of works and what doesn’t, and believe Glug will be the definitive way forward. It will help businesses and their customers by linking them together, with the free app’s users able to engage in a whole host of innovative functions. As an example, each year we waste on average 7 days waiting to be served – that’s a real frustration point for me personally and professionally! Glug will make waiting around a thing of the past and improve many other parts of this relationship. With reduced capacity due to social distancing, venues will want to maximise their revenue and how they engage with customers.”
David adds: “I will be working with Josh and the team in the capacity of Board Advisor to help support Glug’s growth with my technical and industry expertise and experience. Having previously been involved in bringing very similar technical products to market and scaling them to national level, I am well placed to advise on key consideration, industry dynamics and help the company to build relationships and avoid common pitfalls as they grow.”
Glug will soon be ready to launch. “It’s been difficult having to pause our physical Bongo’s Bingo shows,” Josh continues, “but we have remained creative with our live streams and there’s more exciting news to come there soon. Glug is launching during a very difficult time for the UK – and the world, too – and especially the hospitality industry, but we believe it will connect people back with the places they loved going to before all of this terrible stuff happened. We are in talks with lots of businesses who are signing up to be a part of Glug.”