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WalkIn wants to fight restaurant queues in London

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by Startacus Admin

WalkIn app
Queue no more thanks to WalkIn, the London based startup that lets you remotely queue for the best restaurants in London for free.

WalkIn app logoNobody likes to queue. Certainly nobody likes to queue with an empty stomach at their favourite restaurant and have to watch everyone else eating. Do you book in advance and feel guilty if something comes up at the last minute? Many restaurants refuse bookings for this very reason. So do you just turn up and hope there’s a free table, even though you know there won’t be? What if, and this may be crazy, there were a middle-ground in the form of an app that let you both book and walk in and saved the restaurant from empty seats and no shows?

What a coincidence, you’re about to think, for today’s startup is London-based WalkIn, whose free app is a middle-ground that lets you remotely join a restaurant’s queue and also walk in! Kind of. Are you technically a walk-in if you’re already in the queue? Nonetheless, it is a comfortable middle-ground that benefits both eater and eatery. The app allows you to, from within 2km of a venue, join a digital queue for the next available table.

walkinapp screenThis kind of queueing differs from the normal booking because diners cannot book so far in advance that there’s a good chance they won’t be able to make the date, and rather than standing or sitting about being tortured by the smells of the food you’re not allowed to have for another half an hour because that couple over there is too deep into their post-meal whisper-argument to get up and leave, you can get on with whatever else you’re doing.

When a table is freed up, you receive a push notification and a text to let you know, and you then have 10 minutes to get to the restaurant before the next person in the queue is notified instead.

In this way you can, in a sense, reserve a table without the risk to the restaurant that you won’t show up. Except on the odd occasion, this should leave the restaurant with an empty table for a maximum of 20 minutes even if the first in the queue doesn’t make it in time.

So far, with 40 participating restaurants in London and 1,000 Londoners using the app every month, WalkIn reports that the venues’ takings are up 15% per night thanks to the app. The Breakfast Club agrees with this, saying that they saw a significant increase in sales from the first day of trialling WalkIn.

We like it, and the next time we’re in London, we’ll use it!

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Published on: 30th June 2019

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