Restaurant dining facilitators like OpenTable and Resy allow customers to find eateries, book tables and quickly settle bills – all through a mobile app. Expanding the social dimension of those experiences to provide a richer and more unique offering seems like a natural next step.
- 37% of US adults have strong preferences toward being early adopters of food
- 16% of US adults have strong preferences for trying both new food & technology
- 78% of US 18-34 year-olds would choose to spend money on a desirable experience over buying something desirable.
(Pew Research Center, July 2016, Harris Poll, July 2014)
Dining facilitators could leverage that desire for new experiences and enable daily adventures by matching anonymous users based on food preferences, proximity & availability.
How would it work?
Step 1: Users would expand their current profiles by adding gastronomic preferences and price sensitivity. No personal information would be shared, including photos or gender.
Step 2: Users would activate an in-app proximity search to find, say, lunch buddies based on who is around, the food they like, openness to experimentation and price sensitivity. Anonymity would make the process feel less like dating – it would merely match people who want to get out of the office for an hour and not eat by themselves.
Step 3: The app would facilitate restaurant search, table booking and payment – provide the digital infrastructure of an emotional experience.
For the app producers
- Learn more about users; improve direct marketing
- The offering provides more reasons to use the app more often
- The offering creates a community – inspires loyalty
For participating restaurants
- More customers
- Optimised seating capacity (less singles at tables)
- Opportunity to attract adventurous and financially comfortable clientele
- More fun lunches and after work dinners
- A sense of community: meet people with similar gastronomic interests
The service would make every lunch an adventure, allowing users to try new things with new people.