London is a hotbed of new openings, with brand spanking new restaurants opening their doors practically every day in the capital. When a restaurant launches, it will often kick things off with a ‘soft launch’, where customers can get a first taste of the restaurant. To help you stay up-to-date with all of the soft launches London has to offer, we’ve put together a list of upcoming ones that you can try out for yourself – happy eating!
Soft launches London: all of the latest openings
Opens 6 September 2019 with 50% off food until 15 September
What: Replacing what was once Village East, comes this new restaurant from chef Tom Cenci, who used to head up the kitchen at sky high City of London restaurant Duck & Waffle. At Loyal Tavern, he'll be overseeing a menu which celebrates the best of British produce and evolves with the seasons.
Where: 171-173 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UW
Opens 31 August 2019 with 50% off food until 6 September
What: From the team behind Zia Lucia, comes this fresh pasta restaurant. At Berto, expect to find affordable plates of pasta alongside antipasti, young cheeses and Italian wines by the glass.
Where: 155 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
London soft launches: Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is a soft launch?
A soft launch can be defined as a period of time in which a restaurant will offer discounted food (and sometimes drinks) to customers. Soft launches take place when a restaurant very first opens – some restaurants will heavily publicise their soft launches by hosting free giveaways or plastering it all over social media, while other restaurants take a more low-key approach.
Why do restaurants have soft launches?
You’re probably wondering why a restaurant would charge customers less than it needs to when it first opens. Well, the reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, restaurants offer major discounts when they first open to spread the word about their arrival and ensure that customers come through the doors. A soft launch is a great incentive for London diners, and if customers like what they see at the restaurant, they’re more likely to return at a later date.
The second reason is that a soft launch is also a crucial period of time in which a restaurant can iron out any kinks and overcome any teething problems that they didn’t foresee during the planning stages. There’s no real way to know exactly how a restaurant will operate without giving it a go in real life, so a soft launch can be a great learning curve for restaurants and their staff, especially as people are less likely to be offended by food or service that isn’t entirely up to scratch when they aren’t paying full whack for their meal.
How long do soft launches last?
The length of time for which a new restaurant is on soft launch can vary wildly. Some restaurants will only offer discounted food on their very first day of operation or across their opening weekend, while others stretch their soft launch across a few weeks. It’s also important to note that some restaurants may offer 50% off for the first week of their launch, and then 25% off for the second. We’d always recommend checking out this page to see exactly what a restaurant is offering and for how long!
Want to know which new restaurants we're loving right now? Make your way through our pick of the hottest new openings.