Seattle’s formidable restaurant scene is jam-packed with must-try spots, but living in a town full of good food and people who appreciate it has a big downside: reservations are necessary, and they’re a pain.
Mike Montero is out to change all that with Resy, a restaurant app that launched in Seattle with a party at The Butcher’s Table. As the company’s CTO, he says Resy aims to be fast, convenient, and intuitive. Already popular in big restaurant towns like New York and Los Angeles, Resy aims to make the reservations game just a little easier for both restaurateurs and diners alike. (The app is less expensive for restaurant managers than its competitors, something up-and-coming dining spots.) So far you can get reservations from Seattle standbys like Palace Kitchen, The Whale Wins, Matt’s in the Market, Brave Horse Tavern and more.
“Ideally, you open the app, see a list of incredible restaurants – places you know you want to eat – tap twice and the reservation is booked,” Montero explained. I gave it a spin this weekend and found he was on the mark – after a pretty painless sign-up process (I synced with Facebook) I saw a list of nearby restaurants – all places I’ve been eyeing – grouped by time. I could see exactly who had an opening and when, and booking was easy.
When I dove a little deeper, though, things were even better. A quick check at a restaurant I’d been meaning to try – Manmoon – showed me exactly when I could sneak two people in on Sunday, what the food looks like, and what the Seattle Times had to say about it in a recent review (maybe one day Seattle Refined's reviews will be on there!!! #pipedreams). It also told me exactly how long it would take to get there if I left my apartment now – a clutch statistic if you’re making reservations on the fly.
Another cool trick is push notifications – something Montero said benefits both restaurant owners and diners. “If a reservation is canceled, the restaurant wants to have someone re-book that table,” he explains. “We developed a feature called ‘Notify’ that allows users to express interest in booking a table in case one opens up. When it does, we send a push notification to people on the list and it’s usually booked within minutes.”
My favorite part of the app, though, is that it lets you pick your meal. Let me explain – on a Sunday, sometimes at 2 pm you want brunch and sometimes you want lunch. Poking around on Resy made it easy to figure out which restaurants were still up for serving me breakfast food in the late afternoon – I simply selected “Brunch” on the home screen and my suggested restaurant list changed to include only spots still serving their brunch menu. (Seattle restaurants, take note – brunch should be an all-day thing.)