Making a last-minute trip to London and want to hit up the hottest new eateries? Sudden layover in San Francisco and need a meal that isn’t served on a plastic tray? For the jet-setter – and those who simply love dining out – restaurant-booking app Velocity could be the next big thing.
Currently featuring 1,100 restaurants in London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, the app – free to download – is poised to go global across 29 cities in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.
“We wanted to build a global digital dining platform for this generation and the 21st century,” says Zia Yusuf, Velocity’s co-founder. “There was no platform out there that allows people to discover new restaurants from a curated list of awesome dining scenes, to take care of the payment process, and to do that globally.”
Mixing Michelin-starred destinations and casual places in which to grab a bite, categories include Date Night, Luxe Eats and Hidden Gems. Options are given in real time, based on where you are, or where you plan to be, showing only restaurants that have tables available.
Velocity’s team of “curators” vets each venue, judging food, ambience and quality. If a restaurant passes muster, the Velocity software is installed in its reservation system. So if you book a table through the app, it’s flagged; sometimes, that means a complimentary appetiser, glass of champagne or dessert. Often, it means getting a table that might otherwise be unavailable, even at restaurants that don’t accept reservations.
Most convenient advantage: pay your tab through the app, without having to wait for a harried waiter to bring your bill.