10 NOVEMBER 2011
EAT2EAT CHALLENGES NORMS IN SINGAPORE FOR RESTAURANT TABLE RESERVATIONS
• eat2eat, the number one restaurant reservation software provider in Asia Pacific seeks to change perceptions for online restaurant bookings in Singapore
• CEO Vikram Aggarwal excited by user acceptance for restaurant bookings in their home market and applauds initiatives by IDA in this space
SINGAPORE - eat2eat Pte Ltd, a Singaporean company that empowers restaurants and hotels to enable online bookings for table and other reservations seeks to re-image the local market to focus its attention on local restaurants and to change prevailing norms for taking table reservations by telephone.
“It is limiting to take reservations just by phone”, says Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of eat2eat. “Simply enabling diners to access the restaurant online, a restaurateur can enhance service standards, boost revenue and productivity, plus significantly improve customer loyalty and retention. All of which impact their bottom line.”
The company, which was established in 2000, is the most reputable and longest serving online table reservations platform in Asia Pacific. Its software is extremely robust having been tried and tested in a wide variety of environments by the region’s largest and most well known hospitality brands over the past decade. Eat2eat’s software takes full advantage of the latest cloud technology, and offers a range of solutions to the restaurateur to manage reservations – from the enterprise software MaRc© (Multiple Access Reservation Centre) that runs Hotel Groups like Starwood Hotels and Resorts Asia Pacific to the ability to accept reservations on an iPad or a mobile. It saves the restaurant valuable space as a computer terminal is not required.
“The unique attribute of eat2eat is that we power large hospitality companies by enabling online reservations, without diverting focus from their brand”, says Aggarwal. “For instance, a user is not required to visit the eat2eat.com website to make the reservation; we offer a seamless solution so that the transaction happens in its entirety on the restaurants website. We firmly believe that is what both restaurateurs and consumers want – flexibility in operations and control over the channel and database, the focus is our core client – the restaurant.”
Devin Otto Kimble, Managing Director of MENU Pte Ltd, the owner and operator of Brewerkz Restaurants & Microbreweries, illustrates how online reservations have had a significant impact on their operations. “Brewerkz serves nearly 40,000 guests a month and eat2eat has become a significant source of reservations for us. The system is easy to use for both customers and our staff, who find it much more convenient than answering a high volume of phone calls, particularly during busy weekend periods. In addition, it gives our guests the benefit of allowing them to make reservations at any time, rather than waiting to reach us during operating hours. And it has been incredibly simply to implement.”
Michael Hadley, Founder and Proprietor of the Michelaneglo’s Group, has also noticed eat2eat’s impact on productivity and profitability. “Since we launched online reservations for our group using the eat2eat software, we have been receiving a significant proportion of reservations a month online”, said. “It has improved our productivity because we have less resource manning the phones and constantly being interrupted from their daily routines to take reservations. It has also allowed our customers flexibility in reaching us for reservations, as well as enabled us to use the CRM tools embedded in the system to enhance their dining experience, all of which has impacted our bottom line”.
Aggarwal welcomes the new entrants in Singapore who are also providing services in this space - “It increases awareness in the market place that online reservations matter and importantly, the diner will begin to demand this value add service from their favourite restaurants. We remain convinced however that restaurants need to feel secure with their service provider to deliver a reliable, robust and proven technology as they can’t afford to compromise the relationship with their customers. That’s what we offer, the opportunity for restaurants to work with our unparalleled expertise, dominant market position and the primacy of the software to offer a seamless dining experience.”
Something else that excites Aggarwal about the Singapore market is that the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has turned its attention to enhancing the acceptance of technology in the sector. The IDA has issued a “Call-for-Collaboration” along with SPRING Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) for interested parties to submit proposals on the development and adoption of mobility solutions. eat2eat has submitted a proposal as Aggarwal believes the market is now more mature with tools in place to achieve a sea-change in reservation and CRM dynamics.
“Consider the efforts that SPRING and the Singapore Tourism Board are making with the GEMS Up campaign. eat2eat’s software can, for example, impact service standards with a simple tool that enables online reservations,” said Aggarwal. “Primarily because immediate information on the diner is available to the restaurant, and it happens in real time, which enables the restaurateur to instantly enhance their service offering.”
“Although we are a Singaporean company, our focus has always been to offer regional coverage to our diners and to this end, we’ve spent the past few years signing up multiple regional deals, such as our initiative with Starwood Hotels and Resorts – www.eatdrinkandmore.com. We have been privileged to be the developers of this space in Asia Pacific, as we work with the industry to change reservation habits of a lifetime. Interestingly, over the past decade, it was initially restaurants who wanted to be able to offer online reservations but consumers weren’t yet accustomed to reserving tables that way but now, consumers are demanding the flexibility to book on line. With the advent of smart phone technology, Apple’s ipad, mobile internet penetration and speed and the acceptance of restaurateurs to secure their databases, using pen and paper to manage restaurants is exiting stage left.”
The company has recently made several new hires to boost its sales team and seeks to work with large, local restaurant chains that have traditionally managed all their reservations over the telephone.
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About eat2eat Pte Ltd
eat2eat is Asia Pacific’s leading restaurant reservation web site. It has been rated #1 by Google for a number of years and has the largest coverage of restaurants across the Asia Pacific geographic area. The web site is at www.eat2eat.com. The company is based in Singapore and was established in 2000. The company is rapidly expanding its services with a focus on the metropolitan centres in major countries.