How virtual reality could be the virtual end of hospitality

Imbibe Editorial

Imbibe Editorial

01 April 2019

The biggest threat to the on-trade as we know it is here. And it’s goggle-shaped.

That, at least, is the hope of Larry Davies, MD of by the Cambridge-based technology firm VR Fictional. ‘The whole point of virtual reality is that it allows you to create your own narrative,’ he told Imbibe. ‘The universe that you inhabit isn’t pre-ordained.’

Davies has teamed up with top bars and restaurants all over the world to create a portfolio of ‘dream nights out’. Users simply download the venue, put on the company’s specially designed VR headsets – and are transported into the top bar or restaurant of their choice.

Food and drinks can be home-delivered by local establishments – perhaps even by the same ones that the user is ‘drinking’ or ‘eating’ in – for a fully immersive experience. What’s more, by linking VR systems, it’s possible for entire friendship groups to enjoy a virtual night out together without having to leave their homes. They need only ensure that their home fridges are stocked with vodka and Red Bull before they hit the virtual club.

‘If you and your friends want to have pre-prandial Bellinis at Harry’s Bar, a meal at Hakkasan and an after-dinner Manhattan in New York’s Dead Rabbit, you can – and you don’t need to even get off your sofa,’ said Davies.

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