Great Little Place (GLP) is a new app that has been created with the sole aim of presenting you with the hidden and less known bars and restaurants around you, or an area you are planning to visit.
Have you ever had a friend turn around and say "I know this great little place" when you're trying to find somewhere to go to for some food or a drink? Or are you just someone who appreciates a bar or restaurant with some more character than your typical All-Bar-One or Zizzi's? If either of these sound familiar, GLP will be right up your street.
It aims to recreate the human experience of having a place recommended to you by "weaving everyone's little black book together" and it will be available in 40 English-speaking cities across the world from launch.
GLP is driven by recommendations but it doesn't provide you with a star rating like her apps such as Foursqaure, Timeout, Yelp and TripAdvisor do. Instead, GLP only shows you the the hidden gem restaurants and bars, the "great little places", rather than every restaurant or bar nearby. Theoretically, it should mean you never eat or drink in a standard or chain bar or restaurant again.
So how does it work and what do you do? Well it's lovely and simple which is good news. Similar to how Tinder works, the main actions are a swipe right or a swipe left. If you swipe right, the restaurant or bar that has appeared on the app will be added to your shortlist, which is accessed in the top right hand corner. If you swipe left, you're telling the app the restaurant or bar it is showing you isn't quite what you're after this time, although it doesn't discount it completely so if you like it for another time, you'll still be able to access it.
Tapping on the option will bring up more information including pictures, along with a button for the restaurant or bars website and one for the phone number so you can call for a reservation. The founders of GLP told us that in the future, they hope to integrate platforms such as Opentable and Bookatable within it so you'll be able to book directly from the GLP app.
The restaurant or bar card itself also has the options to tell it you've "been there and loved it", or you "want to go there", both of which will then appear on a separate tab, called Black Book, that is accessed in the same area as your shortlisted places and if you need directions, you can open up the location in a section of different maps including Apple Maps and Google Maps.
As GLP is written by you and your friends, it would be silly not to have a way to add a "Great Little Place" and thankfully, adding one is almost as easy as searching for one. A button on the main screen called "Add a Gem" allows you to tell the GLP community about a good place you have found. Search the name, write a couple of sentences about why you like it and select a few pictures from the gallery and you're done.
The only problem of course, is the easier it is to add, the easier GLP could become like the others in its market - an endless list of average places rather than the the great little places. Don't worry though, because if a restaurant or bar appears that you have been to and you don't think is a great little place, you can flag it as inappropriate and an email will be sent to the founders, who reassured us they will be keeping check.
The GLP app will be available for cities within the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia from launch, 5 May. You can search for great little places in any of the available cities no matter where you are by changing the location in the filter menu. This means if you are planning a trip to New York or you're planning a dinner in Putney at the end of the week, you can find bars and restaurants to shortlist beforehand. Your shortlist can then be shared through email, messages, WhatsApp or socially with whoever you want so you all your friends or family can see the gems you've found too and decide which one they fancy going to.
In the future, GLP intends to become a bespoke, personalised city guide that will learn what you like by the decisions you make on the places it presents to you. For example, if you swipe right on cocktail bars a lot, the app will eventually know that you're a cocktail lover so when you hit New York for example, it will then become a personalised guide to the Big Apple with cocktail bars galore.
The idea is for GLP to become more social and more bespoke as time goes on, but for now, it is just a great little app that is well worth downloading and trying out. You never know what awesome places you might find!
The Great Little Place app is available for iOS now, with Android following shortly. The founders told us that a Windows Phone version would be also be considered if the demand was there.