Soft launches in London: Where to find free and discounted food

Enjoy up to 50% off at hot new restaurants with our round up of the best soft launches in London

Updated on 02 December 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

Soft launches in London: Where to find free and discounted food

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

Five Guys, St Paul's

Opens 9 December with complimentary meals for customers all day long

What: To celebrate the launch of its 100th location, Five Guys is offering free meals all day long to its customers. Stop by between 8-10.30am to try a breakfast sandwich, or pop in between 10.30am and 11pm to grab one of the signature burgers entirely free of charge.  
9/11 Villiers Street, WC2N 6NA

Patty & Bun, Liverpool Street

Opens 9 December with free burgers for the first 500 customers

What: To mark its return to Liverpool Street, this revived Patty & Bun location is giving away free burgers to the first 500 customers through its doors. Burger lovers can pick between a meaty or veggie option, all without having to part with a single penny.
Where: 22-23 Liverpool Street, EC2M 7PD

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