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London restaurants attract traffic via beacons and Bookatable app

Kicking off the implementation is the London Restaurant Festival, which began Oct. 8 and goes through Oct. 27. Bookatable has now rolled out the technology to 119 of its London-based restaurant partners offering festival menus and plans to expand to additional restaurants after the festival.

“The goal of this activity is quite simple, which is to create a more engaging, exciting and interactive experience for our customers, while driving footfall to our restaurant partners’ establishments,” said Josephine Ellis, global head of communications at Bookatable, London.

Finding food fast
Participating restaurants include Ping Pong, Spaghetti House, Villandry, OXO Tower, Thai Square and STK London.

The iBeacon program sends exclusive push notifications to consumers who have Bluetooth enabled and have downloaded the Bookatable app once they walk by a participating restaurant. Users can enable Bluetooth and Location Services on their iPhones to receive these offers.

The push notifications will inform users of the restaurants participating in the festival as well as their offers and menus, making the Bookatable experience even more mobile and interactive.

Bookatable’s iBeacons emit a Bluetooth signal of up to 50 meters to users. Users are able to book the festival menu via the Bookatable app, search for other participating restaurants nearby, check the latest availability in real time and reserve a table in seconds.

The online service partnered with American Express to develop the technology specifically for those restaurants participating in the festival.

Following its efforts during the festival, Bookatable hopes to increase the number of restaurants using iBeacons in the U.K. to enable customers the ability to enjoy more on-the-go access to great dining experiences.

This year is the sixth anniversary of the London Restaurant Festival. As it has likely gained some popularity over the years, locals and tourists can attend this year and be more easily guided via mobile. Given it is a citywide event, attendees may be questioning which restaurants are participating.

By providing a mobile solution, Bookatable allows attendees to make their ways through the festival with ease.

Original offerings
Bookatable claims to offer the best restaurants and be the fastest way to find the best deals and book top restaurants.

Through the app, users can get handpicked offers that can be shared with their friends. Users can search by location in the means of destination or proximity and by restaurant name, cuisine or offers.

The map is optimized and interactive for convenient browsing.

The app is free for iOS and Android download.

“The motivation for Bookatable to launch iBeacons at the London Restaurant Festival was born from a drive to enhance our customer experience by implementing new technology,” Ms. Ellis said. “We saw the LRF as a perfect opportunity to utilize this exciting technology on a small scale, piloting the technology and customer experience it would deliver to our customers before rolling the beacons out across London.

“Through our partnerships with brands like American Express and The Michelin Guide, we are constantly striving to enhance the Bookatable experience, so the opportunity to implement iBeacon technology at the LRF and be the first in the restaurant industry to use the technology was an exciting prospect,” she said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York