Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Start Swiping and Get Ahead of the Queue; Technology Suffering from Two-Minute Tolerance? Phoebe Luckhurst Finds the Apps That Can Save You Precious London Moments

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Start Swiping and Get Ahead of the Queue; Technology Suffering from Two-Minute Tolerance? Phoebe Luckhurst Finds the Apps That Can Save You Precious London Moments

Article excerpt

Byline: Phoebe Luckhurst

LONDON is populated with furiously impatient people. You don't have to be tetchy to live here but you'll end up that way after a few years of being herded at a glacial pace through Victoria Tube station at rush hour, or waiting your turn to do battle with a self-service checkout in a heaving Tesco Metro on a Sunday evening.

Changing your habits is unrealistic, and thus we turn, as ever, to our smartphones and apps intended to salve our irascible tempers by helping us save precious minutes.

We're tolerant for roughly two minutes before the vicious gripes begin. First, we complain about refuelling. Queuing is obviously for regional plebs.

When Londoners decide they want something that means they wanted it five minutes ago -- especially at lunchtime, when slave-driver bosses allot miserly lunch breaks.

Responding to the plight of the time-poor professional, Mediterranean food joint Hummus Bros (hbros.co.uk), which has four outposts in central London, has launched an app -- customers can order at their desk, pay via mobile, and their lunch will be ready for them in their closest branch.

"We found at all of our outlets that, as word spread about our healthy food, we were getting very busy at lunchtime," explains Christian Mouysset, co-founder of Hummus Bros, "and given that lunchtimes are often quite fixed, you can't just tell Londoners to come earlier or later. We wanted to get food to our loyal customers quicker, leaving more time for our staff to outline the menu to new customers. So we partnered with Judo to embed a seamless payments experience in our queuebusting app. It means that our loyal customers can easily choose and pay for their food from their desks and simply collect it when they arrive."

Indeed, London's food scene has been quick to respond to the clamouring, ravenous classes.

Cityhawk (cityhawkapp.com), which launched in December, is a slick restaurant bookings app co-founded by Aaron Ross and Laurence Carver. Its investors include Toptable founder Karen Hanton and Toptable investor Mark Ferguson (son of Sir Alex, trivia fans).

Open the app and it will present you with eight of the best restaurants with available tables nearby, so you can book a table and be eating there in three taps. …

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