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PizzaExpress Creates iPod Booths for Diners


PizzaExpress Creates iPod Booths for Diners

For those who can’t decide if they love pizza or their iPod more, restaurant chain PizzaExpress has come to their rescue, by creating exclusive diners areas complete with iPod docks.

The booths are acoustically designed to reduce disruptive noise emanating from the rest of the restaurant. According to supplied figures, exactly 84 per cent of people in the UK have had a conversation in a restaurant ruined by background noise and precisely 16 per cent of UK diners have missed the words, “I love you”, because of this same infernal noise.

We can only admire the precision of these figures but can’t help but wonder that if they missed it, how can they be sure their partner was going to say it? We need to know.

We are assured that the booths contain speakers overhead, as otherwise the dock would just a place to put your iPod while you eat, which would of course be silly.

We also wonder if replacing the noise from the restaurant with music from your own iPod would help, but hopefully the absorbent acoustic discs above the seating, as used in the Albert Hall, will help diners discern conversation from music.

Other tech inside the booths includes the ability to control the lighting, and a button to alert a waiter or waitress if they want to pay the bill.

If you’d like to give this restaurant of the future a go right now, you’ll need to head over to Richmond in London, as that’s where the first one will be. PizzaExpess said the booths would be rolled out nationwide throughout 2011.

ronesh amin

October 28, 2010, 6:28 pm

Believe it or not, but Burger King in Japan were the first to pioneer this!



October 28, 2010, 6:51 pm

Interesting idea but surely it should use an elliptical reflector.

Hans Gruber

October 28, 2010, 6:57 pm

"Play the bill." Presumably for those interested in watching tv drama shows whilst they eat pizza. Didn't they axe that programme a while back or did it escape the chop?

The only useful innovation here is the waiter/waitress button. Nice to see they care about all those portable Apple product owners though. Somebody's gotta look after them.


October 28, 2010, 7:05 pm

I thought the idea of an Italian restaurant was that you needed to:

- Elbow your fellow diners in the ribs to ensure your personal space isn't intruded upon.

- Use a megaphone to ensure that your friends can hear you over the din emanating from the other diners.

- Keep a towel handy. Not because you're a fan of Douglas Adams, but because it's necessary to wipe the build-up of condensation from the windows if you intend to be able to see out of them.

This booth business is far too civilised.


October 28, 2010, 7:21 pm


I can't believe TR's fell for this PR BS!


October 28, 2010, 7:28 pm

@lifethroughalens: Call it what you want but we think it sounds pretty cool so we think our readers might like to know.


October 28, 2010, 7:39 pm

@Ed - well your only just down the road, i'm sure you could take the team for an evening out, on legitimate work expenses, and actually give us a 'review' ;)


October 28, 2010, 7:45 pm

@lifethroughalens: Negative, the editorial team is based in Ascot. IPC media's headquarters are in London. I do need to go into London quite frequently though... :D


October 28, 2010, 7:54 pm

Ipod everything! Soon you will have to have an ipod to flush your toilet, its called the I toilet....

Tim Sutton

October 28, 2010, 10:12 pm

I'm in Richmond regularly, but I don't and will never have an iPod, so bah humbug.

Who on earth would choose Pizza Express as the special, magical somewhere to express your love anyway? Unless you couldn't get reservations at McDonalds or the interestingly scented stairwell at the multistorey car park.


October 29, 2010, 3:15 am

You mean 'I needatoilet' "Zero.

Can't say I'm bothered either way, don't have an ipod and prefer to take-away than eat in.

You do get an impression in tech news some journos think nothing came before the ipod/iphone/ipad etc thus you need to buy it cos they get the bulk of the speaker docks and worthwile accessories.


October 29, 2010, 4:09 pm

@Tim Sutton

I'm with you on this one, you cannot swing a cat in the Pizza Express in Richmond, I tried once. It has a nice stairwell though.

Still better than the Manchester branch, no worries there only today it's revealed two staff are caught bonking in view of the diner's. Guess they are not in the 16% with bad hearing/lip reading abilities.

/Generic MP3 player shuffle Sade "Smooth Operator"


October 29, 2010, 6:57 pm


How did you get a get into Pizza Express? Didn't they notice? Now what's the number for the RSPCA to report you for animal cruelty?..... lol


October 30, 2010, 4:58 pm

I bet thefts of Ipods from the restaurant will sore!


October 31, 2010, 3:10 am


It was a fake cat, a "cat" bag the ex girlfriend had, it had a tail and when I tried to swing it round my head, it hit some spanish geeza, I was warned about my behaviour from staff.


November 3, 2010, 11:26 pm

I am happy to say that my father never attempted a freestyle gangsta rap in front of my friends. I mention this because, if he had, that would probably be the only hypothetical experience that would cause me to cringe as much as I did when reading this.

Furthermore, the only thing worse than a Pizza Express employee thinking this is a good idea, is a Pizza Express customer thinking this is a good idea. It would however be an excellent way of identifying truly awful people. Can we bring back forced transportation specifically for anyone voluntarily using this facility?

davey dee

May 26, 2011, 4:05 pm

I think the domes are too low, waiters will bang their heads, PE will look for another solution that works better and cost less.

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