Greg Hong, CEO and co-founder, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum.
Hong, who is also the company’s board director, is responsible for developing and activating the vision for the company. Prior to starting Reserve, Hong was a small business consultant and the director of business operations at true[X], where he ran their ad operations team from pre-revenue to $20 million.
Hong’s talk on “Why Dining is The Next Frontier of Disruption in Travel” explored the ways in which technology can improve the dining experience. Here are six things we learned:
- Reserve currently operates in 350 of the nation’s best restaurants across six cities and is soon launching the seventh city, D.C.
- Dining will be the last form of live entertainment. As we start to digitize experiences, we are going to yearn for authentic experiences where we can break bread together.
- The restaurant industry is a $709.2 billion industry.
- Statistics show that 60 percent will fail within the first three years of operating. Despite industry growth, there is still enormous competition, and as such you have a ton of turnover.
- We as consumers want restaurants to change. At their core, they are about great food and hospitality. They have been that way for centuries. Technology has always played a supporting role in that, but more and more now you see diners requesting to have technology in their experience and are pushing it toward a new direction.
- Three big ways in which technology is changing the restaurant industry is through discovery, or digitizing the experience of a concierge; reservations, with tech providers learning how to better work with and align interests with restauranteurs; and payment, or streamlining the payment process to make it more fluid with things like automated tip calculation, house accounts and check splitting, all before a diner even arrives at a restaurant.
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And thanks to all the sponsors that made Skift Global Forum 2015 possible: Adobe, Amadeus, American Express, Boxever, Big Bus Tours, CendyneOne, Cheapoair, Criteo, Gogo, HelloGbye, Hornblower Cruises, MasterCard, Mindtree, National Geographic, NewsCred, Sabre, SiteMinder, Travel Channel, TurkeyHome, Uber, Underline, Virtuoso, and Yahoo.