Necessity is the mother of all innovation (or so the saying goes) and COVID has definitely driven WalkUp to do just that!
From creating our QR Code system to allow customers to queue for restaurants and retailers quickly and easily to getting a beta version of Eat Now out to allow diners to find available tables quickly, we’ve been hard at work. It’s been a real test of our durability and steadfastness as a team and no doubt it’s had its difficult moments, but we’re really proud of what we’ve done - and of how many guests we managed to seat in 2020 (over 13 million!) 🤩
Now for the next step🚶♀️ Creating a simple and easy to use booking platform for customers to book tables in the future. Being totally transparent, (as in line with our values) we never had a strong desire to create a more typical bookings feature. We believe the future of dining will all be done in real time giving more freedom, power and efficiency to diners to eat at the best spots.
That’s still our mission. We want you as a WalkUp user to be able to get a table to the best restaurants anytime, anywhere. Where does bookings fit into that picture then and why have we decided to build a bookings platform within WalkUp? Planned events are always going to be a thing in the dining space, we just believe there is a better way of building a world where planned events fit into a real time product! So until then, having a booking feature is a great stepping stone on that journey.
Secondly (and the reason we’ve built this so quickly) is that with the effects of Covid on the hospitality industry restaurants have been keen to get diners in in all ways possible. Additionally, diners want to be able to get tables in ways they feel are most safe, whether they prefer walking in or booking ahead. Health and safety are the priority and so why wouldn’t we build out WalkUp to provide bookings if our users and restaurants felt it was necessary. As with all of our features we worked closely with our restaurant family to build something we’re really proud of.
We only finished the build in mid December 2020 so we’re still taking baby steps in rolling this out. As of right now you can’t make a booking through the WalkUp app just yet, but links will be available on the websites of our restaurants that want to accept bookings… Post lockdown(s) of course.
We’re hoping this will also make lives easier for our lovely restaurants who are going to be adopting bookings as part of the way they operate, alongside any new restaurants that are looking to join the WalkUp family 🥳
Sometimes as a start-up you’ve got to take steps and build things which don’t scale. It might seem like a distraction when in reality it could be a fundamental part of the strategy. It’s still early days, but as of right now we’d like to celebrate the release of bookings!
So while we don’t see traditional bookings as the future, we do see them as necessary to help accommodate our awesome restaurants and their diners. Whatever the WalkUp team can do to enable people to eat out and support the hospitality industry in a way that makes them safe, we’ll do.
💌 If you have any thoughts or comments on this blog post, or ideas on how we could help further please shoot us an email at [email protected]