in partnership
Sam Bernstein (Photo courtesy Table22)

Founder of Table22 explains how dining subscriptions support local restaurants

When the pandemic hit, most restaurants didn’t know how they would survive. Yet one savvy businessman came up with his own pivot — introducing an idea that uses unique, full-service technology to help establishments stay open and even thrive.

Throughout the country and here in Seattle, Sam Bernstein’s creation Table22 helps customers order a variety of dining subscriptions from some of the region’s best restaurants and breweries. Amazingly, some businesses have been able to generate almost six-figure revenues in the first two months of joining the platform.

Breaking down the concept, Bernstein says they’re aiming to build a better way for talented chefs, restaurateurs and foodmakers to do e-commerce.

"To us, better means more profitable, deep guest relationships and loyalty, and a more efficient operational model," Bernstein said. "The way we execute that today is the Table22 platform, which helps hundreds of amazing restaurants operate subscription- and membership-driven offerings. These offerings generate predictable, high-margin revenue, via an 'operator-friendly' model that also enables deeper guest relationships and loyalty."

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The platform launched in the summer of 2020, obviously an incredibly difficult moment for the hospitality industry.

"But we also felt like restaurant operators would use the opportunity to radically change their businesses for the better — to make them more durable, sustainable, profitable, etc., and that we could help play a role in forging the path forward."

Bernstein says the basic idea is that they do all the tricky stuff, so restaurants can then focus on the 'hospitality' piece — making beautiful products and serving their customers. That means the Table22 software handles tasks like e-commerce, payments, billing and subscription management, order management and fulfillment reporting. They also support the logistics of local delivery and the guest-facing platform and communication.

They currently have restaurants in more than 60 U.S. cities. Seven of those restaurants can be found in Seattle, including Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Lady Jaye (West Seattle), Osteria La Spiga (Capitol Hill), Stoup Brewing (Ballard and Kenmore), Nue (Capitol Hill) and Copine (Ballard).

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Although Bernstein is New York-based, he says he’s been fortunate to spend time in the Northwest, primarily in the context of building Table22.

"It's been a blast to visit some of the city's great restaurants and foodmakers, some of whom we are lucky to have as partners (like Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Stoup Brewing and Lady Jaye) and others who aren't yet but I hope will be someday (Canlis, Spinasse, Revel and Joule)."

What makes Bernstein most proud about the Table22 platform so far?

"We live and breathe impact to our merchant partners," Bernstein says. "Seeing our restaurants thrive financially and creatively is no doubt the thing that keeps us going."

When it comes to the company’s future, Table22 has a lofty vision for a more profitable future for restaurants that want to have e-commerce as a part of their business.

Bernstein adds, “We're excited to keep building great tools for our customers so that they can better understand, connect with and serve their guests beyond four walls."

Corinne Whiting is a freelance writer for Seattle Refined. Follow her work and adventures here.