As restaurants around the country opened up to diners this summer they were tasked with a critical challenge: deliver the safest hospitality possible, without letting technology and Covid protocol hinder the guest experience. To execute on this all-important responsibility, restaurants leveraged technology to a degree never seen before, and Resy brought hundreds of new restaurants onto its platform in a record-breaking quarter.
Since May 2020, restaurants that previously did not use a reservation platform for digital reservations accounted for 46% of Resy’s new accounts, compared to 14% in the same time frame in 2019; and in September 2020, Resy saw a 35% month-over-month increase in inbound inquiries (restaurants proactively reaching out to Resy for a demo).
One of these ‘no tech to tech’ converts is Miami institution Joe’s Stone Crab. When Joe’s opened for its 107th season on October 16th diners were be able to make a reservation for the first time ever, which marks a “pretty seismic change” according to Joe’s Chief Operating Officer.
While Resy has always championed the idea that technology enhances hospitality and improves business performance, in the current landscape this fact is underscored. “The restaurant industry is changing rapidly and technology is a key way it is evolving,” explains Ben Leventhal, VP/GM of the American Express Global Dining Network. He says “the time is right” for restaurants that have traditionally been resistant to technology to embrace it, and that the perception of restaurant tech has shifted from nuisance to necessity.
Resy’s dynamic suite of tools — much more than reservations — can step in to take some burden off of operators, enabling them to focus on their staff and guests. Here are just a few of the ways Resy’s tools are being utilized by restaurants around the country to maximize profitability, manage tables, adhere to capacity guidelines, communicate with guests, collect feedback, and more. Plus, what some of Resy’s restaurant partners have to say about the outsize role the technology is playing in their businesses today.
- CONTACT TRACING, CAPACITY MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL DISTANCING TOOLS | In May 2020, Resy rolled out new features to help restaurants manage capacity restrictions, reduce host stand crowding and collect diner information for potential contact tracing. Each of these tools has been widely embraced by Resy restaurants.
- How Resy can help with Contact Tracing: Resy’s Invite feature enables restaurants to collect the contact information of all guests in a party. How It Works: The guest making/holding a reservation invites their dining companions to the reservation. Invited guests that “RSVP” are added to the reservation and logged in Resy OS. This data can be surfaced/exported as a Resy Contact Tracing Report, in case the restaurant should need to provide the data to their local health department. Additionally, Resy allows operators to add the party host’s physical address to their diner profile and to tag a booking to indicate that temperature checks were administered upon arrival, per local health guidelines.
- Resy’s Capacity Monitor Tool: Introduced in May, this tool helps restaurants manage against occupancy regulations by setting a capacity limit — say 50% — in their Resy OS dashboard. If this tool is turned on, an operator will receive alerts as they approach the limit, and Resy OS will automatically disable online reservations when the capacity is maximized.
- Resy’s Mobile Waitlist Tool: Introduced in May, this tool allows guests to add themselves to a restaurant’s waitlist if they are in close proximity to a restaurant, preventing host stand and bar area crowding. If a restaurant is using Mobile Waitlist, a diner can “Join Waitlist” when they launch the Resy app on their phone. Diners are quoted a wait time that updates digitally, eliminating the need to check in with the host stand. The restaurant can alert guests via SMS when their table is ready. More than 2,500 restaurants have used Resy’s mobile waitlist and over 60% of waitlist guests were first time diners at that restaurant.
Resy restaurant take: “Thank you for the valiant efforts by everyone at Resy for the handling of the COVID-19 closures across the hospitality industry. Thank you for all the hours put into the resource packages that helped us navigate such an uncertain time and thank you for understanding the thin ice we are all on and giving us the financial relief needed to make it through these unprecedented times.” Piano Piano, Toronto
- BEING TRANSPARENT: DINING INDOOR V. OUTDOOR | In recent weeks diners around the country have expressed varying degrees of comfort with indoor dining, and informing guests in advance of arrival where they will be seated (i.e. Indoor, Outdoor, Bar Area) has emerged as an important point of communication.
- Resy’s Customizable Table Type functionality enables this information to be shared during the booking process.
Resy restaurant take: “I really like the prescriptive booking. It gives us a lot more control with our flow of covers and also having assignment of table types all in one place is very helpful for us especially when we are deciding guests who are set to dine outside vs. those who are comfortable dining inside in terms of reservations booked.” AL’s Place, SF
- COMMUNICATING HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS | Diners want to know what measures restaurants are taking to ensure the safest dining experience, and operators are utilizing Resy to help communicate this essential information to guests.
- Restaurants can use Resy’s customizable communications tools – confirmation emails, two-way SMS text – to let guests know in advance of dining how they are handling health and safety. Restaurants are using the Resy platform to communicate mask requirements, if temperature checks will be administered upon arrival, reservation time limits, if the bar area is open, that air filtration systems have been installed, and more. For example, Le Bernardin in NYC shares on its Resy.com page that it has “installed a Needlepoint BiPolar Ionization system tested and proven effective in independent laboratory tests against COVID-19 virus particles.
- With Resy’s updated tagging capability, guests can communicate special requests, preferences or allergies directly to the restaurant through the Resy app, contact free.
Resy restaurant take: “I love how simple it is to chat, adjust or communicate in general with guests. It has allowed me more time to focus on other aspects of my job.” – Flour + Water, SF
- NEW TOOLS TO EMPOWER NEW REVENUE STREAMS, WITH RESY AT HOME |Resy At Home is Resy’s suite of tools that give restaurants the ability to expand their offerings beyond dine-in, and allow diners to book pickup and ticketed experiences on the Resy platform. Resy At Home (which includes Pickup, Ticketing, and coming soon: Add-Ons) empowers restaurants to add additional revenue streams to their businesses, without adding another technology platform.
- Pickup: Restaurants can use Resy for takeout ordering and contactless pickup. This functionality is fully integrated into restaurants’ Resy booking widget, so operators simply customize time slots when pickup is available.
- Ticketing: This new tool allows restaurants to concept and create their own events, from virtual cooking classes to wine tastings to curated discussions. Restaurants can create general admission tickets or timed slots to offer virtual cooking classes, wine tastings and more… and diners are signing up! Resy logged 4x more prepaid transactions in September 2020 versus September 2019.
Resy restaurant take: “Resy understood the need for restaurants to evolve and profit after closures, and the new “at home” features, which takes no commissions from us, is a great and so appreciated option when so many third party apps want to capitalize on an already struggling industry.” – Townhouse restaurant, Detroit
- 100% FEE RELIEF FOR RESTAURANTS, AND SUPPORTING THE INDUSTRY
- No Fees Through 2020: Resy was the first reservation platform to announce it would waive all Resy fees for new and existing partners (effective March 9, through December 31, 2020) to help back the industry in a meaningful way.
- Exclusive Offers for Resy Restaurants: The team at Resy has sourced a number of exclusive offers that restaurants can take advantage of, including with inKind (restaurant financing through gift cards), Orderswift, SLERP and ChowNow (online ordering), WineNDine (digital menu creation) and more.
- Resy Introduces Fall 2020 Brand Programming in 8 Markets: Beginning in October, Resy in partnership with the American Express® Gold Card is bringing to life The Resy Drive Thru in Los Angeles and The Classics Remix in eight cities, two Resy-created concepts that aim to reimagine restaurant programming. Resy and Resy and American Express’ investment in programming is part of its commitment to backing restaurants, empowering them to innovate, and being a true partner.
Resy restaurant take: “First and foremost I want to say Resy have been the best partner out of every company we work with. Resy gets us and are truly here for us and I can not thank them enough. These are tough times and means so much to have someone here alongside us helping us navigate these uncharted waters.” – Whiskey Bird, Atlanta