Richard Harden, one of the co-founders of the Harden's restaurant guide, has launched a new website designed to help consumers find the ideal private room or function space as quickly as possible.
APrivateRoom.co.uk aims in due course to offer comprehensive coverage of private rooms and other venues available for exclusive hire in London and then further afield. The functionality aims for simplicity, inviting users to indicate how many guests they are looking to accommodate, whether standing, seated or theatre-style, and in what part of town.
Harden, a stickler for accuracy who left the respected restaurant guide in late 2014, decided to launch the new venture because he came across what he perceived as an "unexpected gap in the market". He said that the website's business model was different from most venue websites in that it aims to offer comprehensive coverage of private rooms and other venues available for exclusive hire. Initially highlighting venues in central London, the website's ambition is to cover the whole of the UK.
Venues for hire already listed on the website include rooms within the Caprice Group, Corbin & King, D&D London, The Dorchester, ETM, Geronimo Inns, Gordon Ramsay Holdings, the Maybourne Group and Young's.
Harden, who qualified as a barrister and worked in investment banking before going on to co-found Harden's with his brother Peter in 1991, told The Caterer
A Private Room will also list "whole venues", but only where entire establishments lend themselves to exclusive hire.
Harden added that the new venture makes no charge for basic listings and seeks no commission on business arising from listings, although the website will also offer a venue-finding service operating on the standard basis of introductory fees payable by venues. The fees sought from venues, however, will be unaffected by whether or not the relevant private room is already listed on the site.
Venues can list their private rooms without any charge by sending in basic information including room capacities and contact information, plus up to four photographs per room to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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