Restaurant Reservations App Table8 Snags $4.6 million, Plans NY Expansion

5/6/14Follow @xconomy

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30 to 40 restaurants. So we’re not talking about having 500, 1,000 restaurants in the city. These are long-term relationships we’re putting into place.

We’re working on New York. We hope to have launched by the end of June.

X: How many partner restaurants do you have in San Francisco right now?

PG: We have 15 partners, but if you look on the app at any one time, you’ll see somewhere between 10-13 restaurants depending on the week and the day and so on.

We’re trying to provide a range of restaurants for our customers. You’ll see pretty high-end restaurants that have one to two to three Michelin starts on the list. You’ll see restaurants that are established, well-known known brands like Slanted Door and Boulevard in the city, or Water Bar, and we aspire to have more and more trendy restaurants as well, like Range, for example, which is a good partner of ours. There’s a wide variety depending on who you are and what your goals are. A tourist in the city might want to eat at The Slanted Door, where a local might tend more toward a Range.

X: Do the prices change based on supply and demand?

PG: Right now, they are not changing, because we’re working on both sides of the supply and demand. As we get more and more people into the app, and as demand increases, you will see changing prices based on supply and demand.

I want to keep prices as low as possible. But at the same time, we have to have tables available at the last second. If I keep prices low and I sell out a week ahead of time, I’m no better than OpenTable at that point, and people will be frustrated. It’s going to be a balancing act. And price is one of the ways to keep reservations available.

 X: Any plans after New York?

PG: You can probably imagine the cities we want to be in. A bunch of cities on the East Coast, like Boston, Philadelphia. Chicago in the Midwest. On the West coast, L.A., Las Vegas. Las Vegas is an interesting one for us. There are a lot of very large, really good restaurants there. If you go in on an average weekend, you can probably book any table you want. The difference between San Francisco and Las Vegas is, Las Vegas gets completely sold out on things like Super Bowl Sunday or a big fight night or if [the Consumer Electronics Show] is in town. There’s probably 15-20 weeks where they’re completely booked, and that’s how we would focus our efforts there. If you show up in Las Vegas and you can’t get a reservation, I think it’s going to be a pretty popular app?

X: When do you plan to launch officially?

PG: I would say when we launch New York is when we are really formally out of beta. So a June/July time frame. If you look at why we raised financing, there are several reasons. There’s quite a bit of software we need to write to integrate with folks like Concur and restaurant software. At the same time, we’ll start to spend more money on consumer marketing when we launch New York City. And that’s why we raised the money.

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