For anyone who has ever spent an afternoon calling restaurants looking for an available table to reserve, New York City dining tech entrepreneur Ben Leventhal is offering an easier way.
In July 2014, he and co-founders Gary Vaynerchuk and Michael Montero launched Resy, an app that aims to streamline the restaurant reservation process. Its scope now covers several markets — New York, the Hamptons, L.A., Miami and Washington, D.C. — and more than 100,000 seats have been reserved through the app from more than 300 participating restaurants.
Leventhal, who co-founded the foodie website Eater in 2005, said Resy offers a clear message: “We want you to know that no matter what, you’re going to open up the Resy app, you’re going to get a great table at a great restaurant and you’re going to be super happy.”
Instead of having to make phone calls, get put on hold and work out available time slots, through Resy New Yorkers can book tables with a few taps on their phone. The service does come with a user fee, though, which is set by individual restaurants and varies depending on party size, reservation date and time and overall demand.
On the flip side, restaurants pay a monthly fee to be included in Resy, though Leventhal declined to specify the price. In return, Resy helps its subscribing restaurants build a reliable clientele, Leventhal said.
“Restaurants today face the reality of very, very thin margins and tons of no-shows,” Leventhal said.
If customers pay to reserve a table, the likelihood of no-shows reduces greatly, Leventhal said. Customers can book a table a maximum of 10 days in advance, he added.
Grant Reynolds, a partner at the eatery Charlie Bird, on King Street, said his team ditched their old reservations platform for Resy because it offered a more efficient service. Namely, the floor plan program, ResyOS, that is included in the app’s partnership helps Charlie Bird’s staff manage its tables easily, he said.
“We found it a hospitable way to offer last-minute reservations for people who simply didn’t plan ahead but are devoted to coming to the restaurant,” Reynolds said.