Gary Vaynerchuk and Eater co-founder Ben Leventhal have come up with a new and competitive approach to restaurant reservationsUnlike Open Table and Yelp, their business model looks at the opportunity by asking the questions most marketers fail to ask. 

What can I do that my competitors don’t do, how will it benefit users and will user care enough to market this for me?  

Meet Resy
Gary and Ben recently launched Resy, a system that flips the model for reserving tables at restaurants. The solution is a mobile app that solves the problem many trendy urban restaurant have to be able to get incremental revenue for their best tables at prime time

Gary has an innate way of looking at problem and finding a difference that matters. If he were a baseball player, you might call him a pure hitter. As a marketer, he has a sixth (and seventh) sense that guides him. He always asks the question, will the user of my product or service really care and love this? The app is searching for WOW.  

The problem Resy solves is getting a reservation at the last minute – by paying for the table. When you say it out loud it seems so obvious.

Solving MY problem, not YOURS
Resy allows diners to pay for access to hot tables on tight time lines. Instead of charging restaurants a fee for every cover booked, Resy is partnering with New York City restaurants like Minetta Tavern and Charlie Bird to provide reservations. By charging customers for the convenience of booking the exact table they want at the exact time they want it (without the hassle of, say, calling a phone number 30 days in advance), Resy seeks to give restaurants an opportunity to earn "incremental revenue" from their reservations. For customers, using the app is a matter of time and convenience.

"There's a price tag associated with the seat now," explains Leventhal, "but really what we feel like we're doing fundamentally is improving exponentially the experience of getting a reservation."

Restaurants have limited seating so to maximize revenue is attractive to the audience. And like Uber, you tap the screen and get what you want. With thin margins and increase competition, any way to add value helps. Think of how the airline industries have suddenly gain profitability by charging for luggage, leg room, food, etc. Restaurants using Resy are doing exactly the same thing.

Last July, I wrote about Grant Achatz and his approach to solving this problem at his Chicago based restaurant NEXT. His approach was like airline reservations where the best seats on a Saturday night were much more expensive than they are on Monday night. 

Is Resy elitist or innovative? Time will tell. Right now it is just available in NYC, in test and early in the business model. But if I know Gary, he is going to be getting another seat at a special table. 

Can I take your reservation?


Speaking of reservations, if you'd like to pick my marketing brain, you can do it through Clarity at this link. All proceed are donated to Charity Water

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