Chicago has quickly taken center stage as one of the country’s best dining cities.
With so many restaurant options and an increased demand for the city’s top tables, it can be difficult to navigate the dining scene and score a last-minute reservation. The launch of restaurant reservation platform Table8 aims to solve these problems.
Users can sign up for a free membership and select a guaranteed reservation from a highly curated list that serves as a guide to the city’s best restaurants. Tables reserved at peak or otherwise sold-out times are offered for a small reservation fee, which is shared with the restaurant. All other times, reservations are on the house.
“These are the managers’ tables once set aside only for last-minute VIP diners that are now being made available to everyone,” says Table8 co-founder Santosh Jayaram.
After successful launches in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Miami, Table8 debuted in Chicago with several prestigious restaurant partners.
“We chose to partner with Table8 because we like the idea of providing those who can’t book a table weeks out the opportunity to be spontaneous about dining with us,” says Michael Taus, Chef and owner of Taus Authentic Food & Drink.
Table8 is the brainchild of Pete Goettner, a venture capitalist and CEO of DigitalThink, and Santosh Jayaram, the first vice president of business operations at Twitter. Frustrated with their restaurant routines, and the lack of availability at both new and classic destinations, Goettner and Jayaram built Table8 to open last-minute reservation access and create a new revenue stream for restaurants.
Table8 works one-on-one with each restaurant to select the number of tables they would like to hold as well as the price of the seats, and then splits the proceeds.
Additionally, securing a hard-to-get reservation is one of the greatest challenges for the corporate diner and business traveler. Table8 has partnered with Concur, a software application that runs the travel desk and expenses for 85 percent of the Fortune 2000 companies, and is now integrated into their App Center.
“75 percent of business travel occurs with less than 10 days’ notice, but the best restaurants book weeks, or even months in advance,” says Goettner. “Our exclusive partnership with Concur allows us to target these types of diners, and ensure that they can secure the reservation they need, when they need it.”