The eternal quest of a foodie to dine at his favorite restaurants goes on. But nothing ruins a perfect dining experience than having to wait outside to relish one’s favorite cuisine simply because the restaurant is full.
It is here that Delhi based startup TableGrabber comes to the rescue. Founded by Cornell educated Pawan Marwaha, TableGrabber aims to take restaurant reservation online by passing the hassles of calling and emailing the restaurants to find out about the booking availability and confirmation.
In simplest terms, TableGrabber is a real time, online restaurant reservation system. Similar to what airline and theatres offer, TableGraber allows the user to streamline their search, in this case a restaurant by location or cuisine with further filters depending upon the time for eating out and the number of people. This is where it provides the choice of the available restaurants and the reservation can be made. For making the reservation, a simple one time sign-up is required and the booking is confirmed when the user makes a missed call to a 1800 number from his listed mobile number.
TableGrabber is currently operating only in Delhi and the NCR, with some 50 restaurants including brands like the Oberoi Group, Leela Hotel and The Park on board. But as the market awareness for TableGrabber and the concept of online restaurant reservation increases, they will expand to other cities and move from fine-dining to casual dining in the coming months.
The bookings on TableGrabber are recorded on the ERD ( Electronic Reservation Diary) which syncs the booking availability between the TableGrabber and the restaurant’s own system. ERD can manage reservation for the restaurant from web, phone and walk-in so that the information is updated in real time. TableGrabber provides an ad-free online presence along with value added services like Table Management and CRM tools for the restaurants.
The company has also built time-based yield management tool, which allows their partner restaurants to push discounts/deals in real-time based on demand and supply. For example, during the off-peak hours the restaurant can offer discounts and deals to attract more diners. These discounts/deals can be changed in real-time, giving the restaurants full control to manage their inventory effectively with best yield management practices.
An iOS app is being launched in the coming weeks, which would be followed by the launch of the apps for Android and the Blackberry users. A Loyalty program where the user gathers points on each dining-out made via TableGrabber can later be redeemed for special deals and privileges.
Keeping in mind that the service is just a month into its beta phase, it is simple and easy to use and I could make all of my test bookings in minutes for the various restaurants. With no formidable competitor in market right now, they do have an early movers advantage. The biggest hurdle to TableGrabber’s success ironically might be the Indian mindset, where very rarely does a person make a reservation for a restaurant and TableGrabber wants to change that. But then five years ago we weren’t pre-booking movie tickets online either!
If you are in NCR area, do give TableGrabber a spin and share your feedback with the team.