New app offers instant restaurant and bar booking on your phone

Thirty Dublin venues available to book on app, with Cork, Limerick and Galway due in 2018

You can forget hanging on the line waiting for a restaurant to answer, or struggling to hear whether your booking is okay against loud background noise while you’re out and about – that’s the promise.

A new app, Zazu, aims to make booking a restaurant, bar or nightclub in Dublin easier. The promoters are calling it an app “to enhance your social life” (which either sounds very ambitious, or like a dating app), and it launches in Dublin this week.

Users download the free app on Android or Apple phones and create a profile, which allows a search by list or interactive map for local eateries, pubs and clubs, with reservations confirmed direct by the venue.

Some 30 outlets in Dublin – including the Press Up Group (which includes Sophie’s Angelina’s and Roberta’s restaurants), House Dublin, and the Exchequer – have signed up, and more are expected to join. The company says it plans to expand Zazu to Cork, Limerick and Galway in early 2018, and then to the UK, Spain and Dubai.

The Zazu app was created by DJ, promoter and venue owner Ivano Caffolla.

It joins other similar apps targeting dining reservations, such as the free international app Opentable, which includes Irish restaurants and the Michelin app. Some other Irish restaurants use international online booking sites such as Tock.

The new Irish app Zazu integrates with venues’ own booking systems, so should lead to prompt booking confirmations for customers, says Zazu. Venues can update their profile with offers, and in-app payment is set up for some venues.

The app is live today, and has made some 100 reservations. Over  1,000 people have apparently downloaded the app already, after Caffolla’s entertainment site afterdark (now renamed ZazuEnts.com ) targeted 150,000 users.

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