Launching: Ambl – an availability bookings app for dining & drinking
Childhood friends Aaron Solomon and Jed Hackling kickstarted their business careers selling ice-creams to classmates at secondary school in Southend, Essex. Now CEO Solomon, a former City worker, and COO Hackling, owner of Quantum Search – a specialist headhunting agency utilising video technology – have teamed up again.
The startup has been created to give hospitality venues a tool to fill instantaneous capacity – something it says leading reservation apps do not currently offer.
The app geographically matches people looking for an immediately-available venue, with real-time capacity within a 30-minute time window.
In just one click, venues can turn off or turn on the platform to show seats are currently available: combating last-minute cancellations, detrimental no-shows or unexpected lulls in bookings. It also features an autoresponder which can add bookings to calendars and respond promptly to customers. Businesses using the platform will be charged £1 per person on a booking, with no monthly subscription and no additional fees being passed to the diners. They can also use it to communicate their latest deals and news with consumers who choose to favourite them within the app.
Ambl has launched with 100 London-based venues including Hawksmoor, Bob Bob Ricard, Luca, Marcus Belgravia, Mber, London Cocktail Club and The Alchemist on a test basis ahead of a wider London and UK rollout. The startup says an additional 1,300 venues are signed up and waiting in the wings.
Solomon: “Ambl’s USP is in its ability to connect spontaneous moments of dining and drinking out with brilliant venues who have real-time availability. We see Ambl as being a helping hand for venues, and one that they can use as and when they want to help iron out booking uncertainty. As we move into a crucial and busy Christmas season, where high-value group bookings are more commonplace, we hope Ambl can be the necessary gift that to alleviate some of the venues’ costly pain points surrounding bookings, and also provide customers with a tool to find somewhere to eat or drink at a moment’s notice.”
Investor Jon Spiteri of Sessions Art Club: “As the sector moves into an incredibly busy, and financially important, final quarter of the year, any tool we can use to help time-poor venues is essential. That’s where I see the value of Ambl – as a way to tackle two birds with one stone: the first being empty tables that plague almost all venues for a host of reasons; and two, the customer needing a trusted table in a moments’ notice. It’s exciting to be a part of Ambl’s journey and I think, particularly as we move into a challenging 2023, it can be part of the tech remedy the sector needs to help bolster growth.”