Meet Aura: The virtual assistant leading Manchester hospitality out of lockdown and into the future

 Tim Mossholder / Pexels

Planning is set to be a big part of nights out in the “new normal.”

Restaurants, bars and pubs won’t be getting as many spontaneous walk-ins as they did pre-lockdown – with customers putting serious thought into choosing a time, date and venue before leaving their homes.

Some want to find a great table at a classy restaurants and enjoy its culinary delights for the first time in months. Others just want to park up in the corner of their local boozer and rediscover the taste of a pint poured fresh from the taps.

But, in every case, venues will look and feel a little different.

An array of hygiene measures and social distancing protocols will be intact when hospitality reopens, and this upcoming chapter promises to be a big adjustment for owners and customers alike.

Aura, an app developed right here in Manchester, is helping local nightlife take the leap into new territory.

Aura

Described as an “artificial intelligence-based nightlife assistant”, Aura helps people plan their perfect route through Manchester’s diverse and eclectic hospitality industry – which could prove invaluable in the current climate.

Users can browse a list of locations on the app or send a text to Aura – who curates a list of venues with accompanying info, directions and transport.

Not only do users obtain access to all the information they could possibly need before heading out (which is more important than ever right now) – they can also use Aura to discover hidden gems in the city they might not have known about before.

The more you speak to Aura, the better it learns your tastes – allowing the app to pinpoint perfect venues for any occasion, be it a romantic date or late-night pub visit with pals.

It’s night out prep made easy.

Additional features such as built-in taxi booking, linking up with friends via the app and free drinks at sponsored venues are also being developed as we speak.

Founder of the Aura app, Will Poole, told us: “Aura was planned for release before lockdown, but with the coronavirus pandemic hitting the hospitality industry hard we put out a slimline version.

“This had a focus on takeaway and delivery venues.

“Now, with some light at the end of the tunnel, we are ready to release the full Aura to Manchester – and we’ll be using it to find beer gardens and delicious food in the sun with everyone else.”

William continued: “The motivation behind Aura stems from both my love of technology and my love of Manchester; with everything the city has to offer.”

“Too many apps encourage you to stay at home and scroll – we wanted to build an app that showed you where great memories could be made and then got out of your way so you could get on with making them.”

As we get ready to tiptoe back out into the night for the first time in months, there’s probably never been a better time for an app like Aura – which helps us plan our every move.

Learn more about how Aura is supporting the grand post-lockdown reopening by heading to over to their website.

Got a video/story?

Let us know!