Monday, July 28, 2008

Open Table: The future of dining in Halifax?

My friends at Cuzoogle recently wrote Open Table . What's the deal? You choose the date and time, and this website tells you what restaurant has a table open for your party. Currently 50 Canadian cities have restaurants using this web-booking site. And why not? From the perspective of the restaurant, it's labour saving - the host can concentrate on the customers there in person and the reservations are made with accuracy. And, perhaps on the margin, it will make it easier for their customers to books a table and attract new customers if this web-booking becomes popular. For the consumer, you can search the local restaurant scene in seconds at the last minute (which is much easier than searching the yellow pages and calling).

Currently, Halifax only has two restaurants on signed-up (Onyx and the Cut Steakhouse). I hope they can add a few of my favorites! . Getting a critical mass of restaurants in each city is going to be a big challenge for this website - do you think they have promoters in Halifax? Maybe I should call the Herald or The Coast! Without a large number of already popular restaurant favorites on this list, the website will not survive in Halifax or any city because the benefit to the consumer depends on it! But I like the business case. We currently buy books, movie tickets and almost everything else online, why not book a dinner for 2 online.


tess said...

I honestly don't think this kind of thing will work in Halifax. But we'll see.

Hey, did you see the CEA dining guide when the meetings were in Halifax?

Canadian Economist said...

I was, in fact, very impressed with that list of venues. I am sure that it continues to be used by economists from coast to coast (when they come to Halifax). Clearly, we have similar taste when it comes to our favourite places in Halifax - I also love the Henry House and they now have a patio! I enjoyed a pint of their Irish Stout the other night after work. Great work! Thanks for the comment. :-)