New sensor technology tells diners when a restaurant is full

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Queuing for restaurant tables could soon be a thing of the past
Queuing for restaurant tables could soon be a thing of the past

Related tags: Bighospitality

London dining app eet is introducing new sensor technology allowing people to track the availability of restaurant tables in real time.

The sensors provide data on sound levels, humidity, temperature and air pressure in restaurants allowing eet to automatically determine the volume of diners on-site.

Users are then able to book a table in a matter of clicks instead of phoning or queuing up.

Sites including Pachamama and Busaba Eathai have taken part in a successful trial, and the app is planning to roll the technology out to further venues going forward.

Though eet currently works exclusively with restaurants, app founder Ali Meruani told BigHospitality he was planning to extend the technology to bars and clubs as part of the next stage of expansion.

He said: “That’s when the sensor data becomes very exciting, because sometimes you want a quiet little bar and sometimes you want a more happening place, and we can provide that level of information to consumers."

Since eet launched in February this year over 146 London restaurants, including Michelin starred Galvin at Windows and Lima, have signed up.

Meruani told BigHospitality there were ‘about 170’ sites in the pipeline, with the app planning expansion both inside the capital and beyond.

He said: “There are several big names coming on board in the next two weeks. By the end of the year we are hoping to expand to multiple cities in the UK.”

Google launched a new feature in July designed to help people avoid queues at restaurants, displaying a ‘popular times’ section alongside search information. However, Meruani remains unfazed by the apparent competition.

“Google keeps on dabbling in this space but hasn’t really made a big dent yet,” he said.

“It does not have active data coming back from restaurants, it uses historical data.  If you walk around Soho a restaurant busy on one Wednesday may not be the next.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Restaurant

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