Table8, a restaurant platform that offers patrons access to sold-out restaurant reservations in major cities, is in beta in San Francisco, with immediate plans to expand New York, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
Those plans are now closer to reality with the recent $4.6 million in financing led by angel investors and the Perfect Trip Fund, established by Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions.
Designed for the fine-dining markets in major travel and tourist destinations, where the most popular restaurants are often sold out weeks or even months in advance, Table8 bring spontaneity back to the luxury dining sector, says Santosh Jayaram, co-founder of the platform along with Pete Goettner. Table8 is available for consumers through its website and iPhone and Android apps.
Table8 gives last minute travelers and corporate diners, as well as tourists, the opportunity to enjoy a meal at a city’s finest restaurants. Comparable to an upscale hotel concierge, Table8 caters to the whims of the “now generation,” which lives on handheld devices and are used to instant gratification, says Jayaram.
“We are bringing the beautiful old-style hospitality of chefs to the new world, to the smartphone users,” he says. “We are opening a little window for those completely sold out restaurants to deliver that level of hospitality.”
The win for restaurants is that travelers who might be shut out from their restaurants now have the opportunity to visit—and can spread the word as they dart about the globe or head home.
Restaurants also earn the cachet of being on the list, which will have only those that are so hard to get into they require Table8 to get a table at the last minute.
Patrons are able to get seated during peak hours, between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Listed restaurants block off a few tables and are immediately notified when a reservation is secured. The diners pay Table8 a booking fee of $20 for two or $25 for four, which is then split with the restaurant.
Table8 has 16 restaurants on its roster in San Francisco, with hopes to get to about 25. The platform will launch in New York in August, and then roll out to the other cities.
“We know for a fact that on any given Thursday, Friday, or Saturday in San Francisco, there are a sizable percentage, at least 124 restaurants, sold out,” Jayaram says. “There are between 45 and 60 cities with similar urban experiences, with good food cultures.”
Table8 investor Concur, which runs travel desks for 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, believes in what it calls “the perfect trip, where everything works together seamlessly, from planning to expenses, calendaring, and including hotel, flight, and dining,” Jayaram says.
Table8 strategically fits with that vision.
By Joann Whitcher