M Restaurants' Martin Williams has reported 31% like-for-like growth during the last month of 2015, which he attributes to its 'industry-first', airline-style 'choose a seat' tool.
The system, introduced in October, uses drone-style technology to allow customers to virtually walk round the restaurant and book the table they want to dine at. During December 9% of customers booked using the tool. And for the recently-opened M Victoria Street, the second M restaurant, larger groups can also choose between booths and tables.
M Victoria Street consists of M Grill, which specialises in steak cuts from around the world, and M Raw, which includes dishes such as wild red kangaroo tartare. The entrance through both is through the restaurant's wine shop. The executive chef is Michael Reid, previously of Le Gavroche, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Vue de Monde and The Skinny Duck.
The venue also operates an 'anti-turn time' policy, meaning guests can keep their table as long as they wish. Williams said that he believes the policy should be an industry standard.
'Diners in London are the most experienced and discerning in the world,' he said. 'I firmly believe that dining should be a relaxing, bespoke experience, which can last as short, or long as the guest wishes.
'Many restaurants give diners a short time slot in which to enjoy their meal – a policy that is the opposite of a positive dining experience. At M, we are leading the way to redefine heightened hospitality. After you choose your own table, when you dine at M, the table is yours for as long as you wish.'