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The Restaurant Biz Just Got (Technologically) Cooler
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Everyone knows OpenTable — many people even love it. The ability to make reservations for restaurants (online) and earn points for doing so...it’s ease of use for the customer, another access point for the restaurant, and OpenTable creates the technology to make it happen. And that is pretty much the latest restaurant industry technology advancement in the last, oh, decade or so. Sorry, but restaurants are slow when it comes to adopting and using technology. It’s not their bread and butter because hey, bread and butter are actually where they make money. But there’s new news on the restaurant front and it includes technology. Groupon has launched a new application, kinda like OpenTable, but a little newer and better that highlights high-end restaurant reservations. And the model is different; it’s created to increase profitability, not just simply offer a deal. It’s restaurant and technology love.

It’s called Groupon Reserve and it launched yesterday, giving people the ability to book reservations at high-end restaurants complete with double-digit discounts. Available in a handful of major cities for the launch, customers are able to make a reservation at some of the industry’s top eats. And the best part is customers don’t have to reserve with a fee or a commitment, but instead are given a discount on their super fabulous meal. Restaurants pay a small per-diner fee and diners receive a discount based on when they plan to eat. Some days might be 30% off, others might be 40% off. It seems that technology has finally infiltrated the restaurant business. Groupon Reserve will expand to more cities and countries this year and will put technology on the front page for the restaurant industry.

What’s so different about this piece of technology? Isn’t it just a more refined OpenTable app? Not really. This time the whole operational piece has gone more hi-tech. Restaurants will receive the reservations via a mobile app and be able to apply the discount to a bill. This is more connected and more thought-out than other restaurant technology programs. In addition, it’s not about gaining one more customer or offering a deal but instead using technology to increase profitability. And with the amount of data Groupon has and will collect, restaurants can make better decisions. When to offer discounts, who to offer them to, and how to increase the success of their business. It’s technology and restaurants all wrapped up in one branding mission: success.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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