A huge challenge for businesses with high fixed costs is how to unload spoiling inventory without lowering the price existing customers pay. Airline seats that take off empty generate nothing for the carrier. Hotel beds that go empty on a given night can’t be resold in the future.
Restaurants have empty seats, too the rent is paid for and there’s very little extra staff time at the margin on a given night when an extra customer walks through the door. There have been lots of attempts at cracking the nut of the restaurant excess inventory space. Now there’s a new one that’ll give you $15 or more per reservation on top of whatever other rewards you may earn for dining out.
- You get a $15 gift card (your choice of Uber, Amazon, or Starbucks) for dining.
- It must be a party of 2 or more people and you won’t find the least expensive restaurants participating, they need the economics to be worth incentivizing at $15 per meal (although their cost is less than $15, they’re going to be paying less than par for gift cards, it no doubt costs the restaurant more than $15 to drive a booking through the app)
- They are currently in New York, Providence, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco covering approximately 2200 restaurants
One Frequent Miler reader used the app to book breakfast at the Park Hyatt Chicago while staying as a guest there. Though they’re a top tier Hyatt elite, and breakfast was free, they still got a $15 gift card on top.
Some restaurants offer $20 gift cards, but you can’t reserve all times, they’re looking to incentivize off-times. Gift cards should be sent within 24 hours of dining.
Since this is a reward for the reservation it trades off with much devaluaed OpenTable points which usually reward at under $1 per booking. This doesn’t trade off with:
- any points from your credit card
- earnings via Rewards Network Dining for Miles programs if the restaurant participates in those as well as this app
- paying with gift cards or Restaurant.com gift certificates
In Austin I’m thrilled to see Peached Tortilla (there’s a location coming to the airport) and Dai Due included. I’ve been to several others like Vox Table and Wink though I’m not a regular. I wouldn’t say they have most restaurants I frequent, but it also seems worth checking if a restaurant is available through this app that I’m going to eat at anyway before making a booking some other way.
If you’re referred by an existing member you get an extra $5 with your first reservation, and the person who refers you gets $5 as well. My referral code is GARY36 and you’re welcome to leave yours in the comments.