Everyone loves eating out but the hassle of getting a table at some of the city’s hottest spots can be enough to have you shuffling through your take out menus. Reserve, which launched at the end of 2014, now lets restaurant-goers book reservations, get seated, and pay the bill at their favorite restaurants. The young startup is already on fire with a $15 million series A funding round announced on Wednesday.
The startup claims to be the Uber for restaurants, as it lets you book and pay for your meals all within a few taps on their mobile app, now available for iOS and Android. “Imagine us doing for eating out at restaurants what Uber did for personal transportation” the company states in their pitch deck. Similar to the fast-growing car service, all reservations are booked in advance and payments are connected with the user’s Reserve account. Never again will Reserve users need to sit around waiting for their check to arrive on a busy Friday night.
But Reserve’s ties to Uber are closer than just that. The company launched its first product out of Expa Labs, a coworking space created by Garrett Camp, one of Uber’s original founders.
“There’s still incredible opportunity in the restaurant and dining space for both sides,” said Naveen Selvadurai, Foursquare co-founder and now managing partner at Expa. “There’s great opportunity to not only make for a more elegant solution for diners, but we also have the ability to actually make our platform that much more meaningful for restaurants as well.”
In a recent interview, Reserve’s CEO and cofounder Greg Hong described the experience of painstakingly researching restaurants in your area and hoping for a decent table as “painful”. Hong continued on to say that he sees his company as a user’s “digital dining concierge” in the future.
The dining reservation space has become seriously noisy in the last few years, dominated by OpenTable and with newcomers on the rise like Resy, which allows users to bid for open tables last minute. Reserve looks to stand out, with Hong noting that the ”focus is 100% on the dining experience”.
In Reserve’s funding announcement on Wednesday, Hong stated “Our Series A brings our total amount of funding to $17.3 million, and we intend to use every penny to bring a better dining experience to more restaurant partners and diners, in more cities and on more devices, for special occasions and everyday meals. We look forward to bringing the Reserve experience to a broad array of restaurants and guests, and helping them at each and every meal.”
In the past months, Reserve has gained partnerships with over 100 restaurants in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.