17 May 2013

M8 is getting tastier with restaurant booking service Bookatable!

Summer 2013 is shaping up to quite a season for UK foodies. With the launch of this year’s Foodies Festival in Brighton at the beginning of the month, not to mention the wealth of county shows and fairs that will showcase some of the UK’s best home grown and organic produce, the foodies among us are in for an absolute treat!

Whether its fine dining restaurants, gastro pubs, farm shops, cafes or tea rooms, we’re passionate about the gorgeous food available in the UK, and we’re constantly doing our best to offer the M8 community a tastier experience, and fly the flag for the best places to eat throughout the UK. With such incredible produce on offer, no one who’s looking for something to eat - whether on a business trip, on a road trip, or just exploring their area - should EVER have to endure a bad meal or snack!

We’re delighted to announce the addition of leading online restaurant review and booking service Bookatable to the range of features freely available to M8 users. Giving users the opportunity to explore the vibrant UK restaurant and cafe scene, the Bookatable feature functions as a restaurant directory,  booking system and review service rolled into one.

From within the M8 app, users are able to search for restaurants according to categories including popularity among diners, price point, type of cuisine, name of restaurant or by location using Bookatable’s extensive database integrated with the M8’s navigation and GPS technologies.

The process is incredibly simple, with users able to gain access to special offers and discounts currently available at their location or nearby area. Equipped with the functionality to browse, check availability, make bookings, receive confirmation, contact and navigate to venues direct from within the app, the Bookatable and M8 partnership provides a seamless journey from browsing possible restaurants, right through to sitting at a table with the menu!

Earlier this year we made both the Good Pub Guide and the Michelin Guide 2013 available to the M8 community as an in-app purchase, giving everyone using their iOS, Android or BlackBerry Touch devices the opportunity to explore all that the UK pub and restaurant scenes have to offer, direct from within M8 app. And boy did these features go down well! Enjoying the reviews and making full use of the information and contact details, M8 users who took the plunge and purchased the special features have been treated to a rich and seamless experience, especially when used in conjunction with the sat nav, traffic and location based features - let’s not forget the fabulously useful Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor UK and Yelp in app information...and the brand spanking new Bookatable feature!

Our dedicated UK foodies  - those who love the social aspect of sharing food with friends and family - want to be able to seek out the best places to eat in the UK, without any fuss, and we believe that Bookatable adds another very special dimension to M8 UK.

Have you found out any amazing places to eat while out and about? We’re always on the look out AND we love talking about all things food, so drop by and chat to us on Twitter @localm8, or on our M8 Facebook page!

Enjoy, folks!

13 May 2013

Skegness and London battle for May Day holiday top spot among M8 community!

Image courtesy of guardian.co.uk

We love May. It’s the best month for UK bank holidays, there is SO much going on, and people are beginning to get excited at the prospect of the summer.

Last weekend most of us were lucky enough to get some sunshine - for part of the weekend at least - and boy did our M8 community make the most of it! Having had a look at the searches made by the M8 community, we think there are some interesting points to note...

In between all of the eating, drinking and socialising (responsibly, of course) we took to the road to explore the UK, planning over 86,000 car journeys which added up to travelling a whopping 6.32 million miles. That’s the same as around 300 return trips to Australia, or travelling the length of Britain over 8000 times, all in one weekend you crazy lot! We also must mention the pedestrians out there - they made plans to navigate / walk / run / hobble / crawl more than 1600 miles over the weekend and thoroughly deserve any overindulgence they enjoyed once they reached their destination.

So where did you all go? The answer is - all over! Well, a lot of you searched for London, rightly so as there was just so much to choose from with the many festivals, family events and entertainment being provided across the capital. While our top search over the weekend was indeed the capital, we saw a huge number searching for the good old traditional British seaside resorts.

Our top 5 destination searches:

  1. London
  2. Blackpool
  3. Skegness
  4. Brighton
  5. Manchester

Did you expect to see Skegness so far up the list? We didn’t either! There were a huge number of searches for Skegness, a coastal resort famed for its beaches, white knuckle rides, illuminations and lively cabaret nightlife. The trend continued, with Blackpool, Bognor Regis and Barry Island proving popular searches over the course of the Bank Holiday. The once-popular, often-misunderstood Victorian seaside resorts are definitely making a come back, and we think that’s fabulous!

The May Day bank holiday traditionally marks the beginning of the summer season for major UK attractions and thankfully it wasn’t a wash out, so people were eager to get out and about visiting the range of theme parks, zoos and other attractions that are dotted around the country.

Our top 5 searches for attractions looked like this:

  1. Alton Towers
  2. Chester Zoo
  3. London Eye
  4. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
  5. Legoland

Following the turn by turn navigation prompts - remember we just added Stephen Fry to our available voices - our M8 community planned routes exploring the length and breadth of the United Kingdom in search of fun times with friends and family. Checking in with the Good Pub Guide and Michelin Guide features, users made sure that the country pub, cafe or restaurant they chose was bang on in terms of price suitability and most importantly served tasty food and drinks.  Those hunting down a bargain checked with the in-app MyVoucherCodes feature wherever they were to browse the active offers and deals in the nearby area. The budget savvy among our M8 community are a canny lot, getting more bang for their buck over the bank holiday!

Many searched for green spaces and the seaside to enjoy the best weather we’ve had so far this year, and who could blame them when the UK looks absolutely gorgeous in the sunshine, and all you really need is a picnic and people to share it with!

We’re seeing a seaside resort renaissance, and we can’t wait to see how these much loved resorts buzz over the summer months.

So, where did you go over the bank holiday and did M8 help you get there? Tell us all about it over on Twitter @localm8, or on our M8 Facebook page.

Have a great week, folks and here’s to May - a month filled with bank holidays and smiling faces!

Cheers, M8 your local mate