By Kristy Dorsey

A new app to help pubs, restaurants and cafes get safely back into business is set to be launched in August following a five-figure funding boost for two Scottish entrepreneurs.

The Pour platform has been developed by Edinburgh-based Ian Martin and Paul Kirkland, and will allow businesses to replicate their food and drink menus to take contact-free orders. It will initially be available free of charge, meaning that firms will only incur the usual costs of card transaction fees.

“We will assess that as we go, but we will be waiving the platform fees for the foreseeable future,” Mr Martin said. “We will keep that in place for as long as we deem appropriate.”

READ MORE: Scottish pub giant cuts rents to help tenants weather the coronavirus storm

Pour will operate much like the Weatherspoon app, which allows customers to order and pay for food and drinks without leaving their table. The difference with Pour is that it will be available to all establishments regardless of size, and will also handle orders for collection and local delivery.

Its founders have been working on the Pour app since July of last year, but received a boost two weeks ago with a successful grant application to Innovate UK. The £38,400 award has been provided through the agency’s £20 million fast-track competition to develop new ways to tackle global disruption such as that caused by Covid-19.

READ MORE: Glass house plans to rescue Finnieston pubs and restaurants

Pour will initially launch in Scotland in August, and will be rolled out to the rest of the UK thereafter. Discussions are currently taking place with potential business customers, with the push to recruit consumers set to coincide with the app going live.

“We can help pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes get back on their feet by facilitating contact-free table service, takeaway collection and local delivery,” Mr Martin said..

He and Mr Kirkland are school friends from Inverness. They previously ran the Craft Bottle Company, an online craft beer business.