The Lowdown: Students in restaurants

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Lowdown: Students in restaurants
A new app that aims to fill empty restaurant tables with student diners launches next month

Don’t students live off beer and instant noodles? Why would they want to go to a restaurant?

Apparently some do. New phone app Tabled is pitched at international students who are new to London and unfamiliar with the local restaurant scene. Its 22-year-old founder Oliver Phillips says that students are loneliest at mealtimes. Aw.

Tabled? Sounds like another millennial slang term. How does it work? 

Tabled helps them to find places to eat, as well as find friends in a new city. Think of this location-based app – previously known as Meet ‘n’ Eat – as restaurant Tinder without the promiscuity. 

I’m assuming the app is free, given that students never have any money…

Correct. It’s free for the students to use. Like most other booking services, the app makes its money by taking a cut of the bill from the restaurant. The idea is that restaurants offer tables to be booked out at quieter times. Students can either create their own table at a signed-up restaurant or join an existing table. 

How many restaurants are on board?

Eight. But the app hasn’t officially launched yet. Tabled isn’t releasing any names yet, but they have said that all the restaurants are in London and serve either Italian or Asian cuisine, with a price range of £10-£13 for mains. Phillips says that research shows these types of meals to fit in best with students’ eating habits.

How many international students are around to use an app like that?

Well, it’s hard to say. Since Brexit was announced, the number of students coming to the UK to study has dropped by 27,000. The government has actually been urged to remove student numbers from its target for net migration, as the myth of international students overstaying has been shown to be untrue.

Oh well. At least it might be a bit easier to get to the front of the bar

That might be the only positive about the student ‘Brexodus’. A drop in international student numbers is extremely bad news for restaurant HR departments. What student doesn’t need a part time restaurant or bar job to fund their studies?

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