UK-based Ambl raises €1.52 million to combat last-minute cancellations with real-time reservations

The hospitality industry is undergoing a transition fuelled by tech and changing consumer culture. After a couple of years of hardship for the sector, new innovations are crucial in reigniting growth and helping companies to grow and succeed. Not only do restaurants, cafes and bars have to deal with financial rollercoasters, but they also have to place trust in consumers and have faith that reservations will be fulfilled. 

Bringing tech into the equation, London-based Ambl is on a mission to give a much-needed boost to the hospitality sector with its platform giving consumers real-time reservations whilst simultaneously combatting last-minute cancellation culture. The startup has now raised about €1.52 million after just closing its third pre-seed round amongst its extended network which includes existing investor and serial entrepreneur Mark Gordon. Now, Ambl is gearing itself up to launch in September this year. 

It’s believed that people who don’t show up to reservations made at pubs and restaurants are costing the sector billions every year. It’s frustrating for the owner of the pub/restaurant, but also for those who would have liked to book but couldn’t find a space. 

Last-minute cancellations and the growing number of no-shows are pushing struggling restaurants and bars closer to the edge. CGA research has highlighted that one in seven (14%) consumers have admitted to not fulfilling their bookings. Last November, Italian restaurant group Gusto reportedly lost £30,000 in a week due to a painful spate of no-shows that saw more than 1,000 guests not turn up for their table. 

Ambl is on a mission to combat the current loss in revenue and footfall within hospitality venues by filling empty seats that arise from last-minute or same-day cancellations. The startup is taking on the spontaneous market – reflecting changing consumers’ habits towards social life. Ambl offers consumers reservations to restaurants and bars in real-time. So, whether it’s a last-minute work dinner, a rooftop cocktail, or a signature experience at the latest hotspot, Ambl can make it happen. 

Basically, the startup is using last-minute culture for restaurants’ favour by switching up how they can react to it – helping hospitality providers make money rather than lose money from last-minute decisions. 

Aaron Solomon, CEO, and Co-Founder of Ambl, commented: “The past two years have been incredibly tough for the hospitality industry. From unprecedented staff shortages and supply change issues to a growing trend in last-minute cancellations as consumer confidence falters, it’s mission-critical that solutions are available to help an industry we know and love, thrive again.”

Whilst many hospitality providers already have measures in place to absorb the costs of cancellations, including taking deposits, charging cancellation fees, and blacklisting those customers who repeatedly fail to show up, these solutions aren’t so proactive. They don’t refill the seats. With more and more of us ordering food rather than eating out, restaurants need to take action

The startup, founded by Aaron Solomon, Jed Hackling, and Bobby Naaem, is shaking up how people approach their nights out – making it easier for both those going out to find places to go and bars and restaurants to attract people in. The platform gives venues the power and platform to combat the last-minute cancellations and detrimental no-shows, while keeping everything quick, simple, and most importantly visible to the consumer. It also boosts the spontaneous community, reflecting how consumers now prefer to go out and unlocking the joy of last-minute living.

Aaron Solomon also said: “Loss of revenue, early closures, and rota nightmares will be a thing of the past thanks to Ambl, which has been designed to give venues the power and the platform to combat the detrimental impact of the last-minute cancellation culture. It’s been created to give consumers the freedom to view and book venues with availability, right here, right now – reducing the headache of roaming around struggling to find availability. Whilst providing visibility to an untapped market for venues.”

The fresh funding will fuel the official launch in London this September and accelerate product development. It’ll also be used to accelerate team growth.

Serial entrepreneur, Chairman, and lead investor at Ambl, Mark Gordon added: “The concept of Ambl was something I could easily relate to. There was no doubt in my mind, it was a great idea, however, I could see some challenges they would have to overcome with venue adoption and of course the usual pitfalls that exist such as developing succinct messaging when educating consumers in a new marketplace.”