Mobile Commerce

Reserve — The M-Payments Dining App — Breezes Into The Windy City

Reserve, the dining concierge app, added 22 Chicago restaurants to its scrumptious lineup Tuesday (April 14), as the company announced its Windy City launch. Chicago — which represents Reserve’s largest launch yet — joins Reserve’s sizable list of restaurants in Boston, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.

The free app aims to enhance the dining experience from start to finish, aiding customers in finding the right restaurant, securing a table at said restaurant (if one is available) and topping it all off with a seamless payment process.

“Our restaurant partners are known for their delicious food and wonderful hospitality, and after enjoying your meal Reserve will seamlessly handle the bill,” Reserve CEO and Co-Founder Greg Hong wrote in a company blog post. ” The total for your party, as well as tax, tip and Reserve’s $5 concierge fee, will automatically be charged to your card on file, making payment effortless.

“It’s no surprise that a city named after food has a rich culinary tradition, and we’ve found many wonderful partners here in Chicago,” he added.

Participating Chicago restaurants are: Acanto, Ani, Arami, Bin 36, The Boarding House, Celeste, Dusek’s Board and Beer, Formento’s, Farmhouse, Geja’s Cafe, Homestead on the Roof, Le Colonial, Lula Cafe, Mercadito, Nightwood, The Promontory, Sepia, Tippling Hall, The Gage, The Dawson, The Kitchen, and Trencherman.

The app provides details on each restaurant’s atmosphere, menu, cuisine and more. It also offers recommendations based on user’s selections and works to find a suitable substitute in the event of an overbooked restaurant.

Chicago restaurateurs such as Bin 36 general manager Lauren Parton anticipate that the app will offer multiple benefits.

“We can greet them by name,” Parton told the Chicago Tribune“We know what their favorite whiskey is, or their favorite wine varietal. Everyone wants to have that ‘Cheers’ experience.”

“As a diner you put your card on file with us and ultimately it’s treated like a house account for a diner,” Hong told PYMNTS earlier this month. “It’s a really great way to end the dining experience. If you’ve ever been out to eat and been fumbling around for your wallet – it’s nice to not have to deal with the payment in the dining experience. And we see a lot of validation of that on our social media channels.”

Earlier this month, Reserve also announced two new acquisitions: Zurvu, a New York-based restaurant reservations app, and HAIL, a Santa Monica-based startup that makes an app for splitting the check with a group of diners.

And while Reserve may be the new kid on the block in Chicago, it already has a strong fan base elsewhere — with angel investors including Jared Leto and rapper Will.i.am chipping in for a $15 million Series A funding round this February. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before Chicago becomes a fan, too.

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