Reserve Is Expedia’s Exclusive Reservations Partner in the U.S.

SKIFT TAKE: 

News out of Reserve has been relatively quiet since the hiring of the company's new COO last fall. But they're now doubling down on efforts to reach diners across many platforms, and this deal is no exception.   — Kristen Hawley

By Kristen Hawley, Skift Table 

April 19, 2018

Reservations provider Reserve has struck a deal to be the exclusive provider of restaurant reservations on Expedia.com in the United Sates beginning in May. Reserve works with 1,000 U.S. restaurants in all 50 states. Only restaurants on Reserve’s network will be available for booking on Expedia.

Reservations providers are battling for a bigger slice of the booking pie and reservations are no longer an afterthought for travelers. Instead, the opposite: many travelers book trips around dining at notable and hard-to-book restaurants. According to Skift’s recently released Affluent Traveler Survey, 19 percent of travelers (and 22 percent of travelers without children) prefer an urban culture and food trip when vacationing. Additionally, the survey found that “excellent food and beverage on property” is the third most important aspect of a hotel, according to respondents.

 Bar at  Tied House  in Chicago, a Reserve partner restaurant

Bar at Tied House in Chicago, a Reserve partner restaurant

“One of the themes we talk about so much in our business is, how do we put our restaurant partners first? How do we make sure we are meeting their customers where they are? This is another great example of that for us,” Reserve CEO Greg Hong told Skift Table. “We’re so excited about being able to work with [Expedia] and for the opportunity to bring so many people they have on their platform into the Reserve network and into our partner restaurants.”

“We’re excited to work with Reserve to add restaurant discovery and reservation services to Expedia’s activities and attractions platform,” Jen O’Twomney, vice president, Expedia Local Expert said in a statement. “Dining out is an integral part of the travel experience, so this is a natural addition and one we believe travelers will really value.”

Reserve’s technology will enable restaurant discovery and reservation services directly on Expedia’s activities and attractions platform — guests will not be redirected to Reserve in the process. As on Reserve, guests will see real-time availability for their selected day, time, and party size at the restaurant they’re looking to book.

Restaurants won’t incur any additional costs associated with the partnership. Reserve charges restaurants a monthly flat fee of $249 per month, covering reservations and table management services. Reserve plans to make some product additions soon, including point-of-sale integration, that could see some restaurants paying more for additional functionality. A Reserve spokesperson also noted Reserve does not charge cover fees, a pricing structure pioneered by reservations provider OpenTable, which charges restaurants a dollar per diner seated in addition to monthly subscription fees.

  Tied House , Chicago

Tied House, Chicago

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Reserve declined to comment on any potential investment from Expedia, though historically these types of deals come with some level of support. In early 2017, Airbnb led a $13 million investment in Reserve competitor Resy. Then, in September, Airbnb announced it was integrating Resy into its platform, allowing Airbnb users to book reservations at Resy partner restaurants directly within the app.

Expedia’s tie up with Reserve follows years of partnerships and acquisitions by other online travel agencies and travel brands. Booking Holdings acquired OpenTable in 2014 for $2.6 billion, and both TripAdvisor and China’s Ctrip partner with OpenTable to offer reservations. TripAdvisor also owns reservations service La Fourchette, which it acquired in 2014. Most recently, Accor Hotels bought ResDiary, a Scotland-based reservations provider.

Until now, Expedia has been the lone major online travel company without a dining reservations stake. For Expedia, entering the restaurant reservations space with a U.S. partner makes sense. Last year, Expedia generated 55 percent of its revenue in the U.S. versus 45 percent abroad.

WHAT’S NEXT?

In the competitive space of restaurant reservations, footprint and growth are paramount to success. While Reserve and its competitors offer powerful software to restaurants, success in the market depends on size and power.

“Our plan is to continue to grow the Reserve brand,” said Michael Wesner, Reserve’s chief operating officer. “We’ve had a great deal of success in a number of the cities that we are in growing far faster than we would have even expected. Certainly the intent is to grow the business from a sheer footprint standpoint and this Expedia relationship is one means by which we’ll be able to do that.”

Our Top 5 Chef Works Must-Haves

We love how easy it is to look good when dressed in Chef Works apparel. Check out our top 5 picks !

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BERKELEY CHEFS BIB APRON. We love the street-meets-rural vibe it has going on. You might recognize it on our Feast On chefs at the 2018 Terroir Rural Retreat!

The Chef Works Urban Collection is meant to be practical and yet fashion-forward, inspired by emerging trends with gourmet food trucks, fusion cuisine and rising culinary chefs.


 

BOWTIE. To the front of house we go! These cute bowties add a touch of sophistication when greeting and serving guests in your dining room. 


 

MARRAKESH WOMEN'S CHEF COAT. Inspired by the kitchens of Sonora, Mexico, the Marrakesh will make any lady chef feel like she's looking classy.

This is a fashion-forward coat that flatters the feminine form. With a flattering crossover collar, figure enhancing darts and flared hip opening, this single-breasted, coat redefines chef coats.


 

 

MANHATTAN DRIVER CAP. Take a trip back to the Gastby era! On your bartender or sous chef, this edgy newsboy cap fits right in in a casual setting.


 

 

GINGHAM DRESS SHIRT. We love that this gingham shirt can either be dressed up or down depending on your style of restaurant. Maybe add one of the bowties above!  

The Great Ontario Craft Brew by Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. & Great Lakes Brewery

Calling all beer lovers!

Our Signature beer sponsors, Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. (Vankleek Hill, ON) and Great Lakes Brewery (Etobicoke, ON), are creating an all-Ontario beer to be tapped at Terroir 2018!

On March 26th, we ventured into the land of Etobicoke to Great Lakes Brewery, where we joined the two breweries to witness the magic in the making!

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Now, what is beer without hops, malt and yeast?

We were joined by VQH Farms, Barn Owl Malt and Escarpment Labs on Brew Day to get a behind the scenes look on how such amazing Ontario-grown product is incorporated into the beer-making process.

An Instagram contest was held to allow a lucky member of our beer community a chance to name this locally-inspired brew and to join us on this exciting brew day. The unanimous winner was “Yours To Discover” by James Hamilton, a slogan that as Ontarians, we are familiar with! We thought it was the perfect name to reflect the provincial roots of the brew.

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For those who are beer nerds (us included), Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. and Great Lakes Brewery decided on a one-of-a-kind, crushable Ontario Pale Ale for the 12th Annual Terroir Symposium.

To create the scene, last year, Peter Bulut, Owner & Chief Brewing Officer at Great Lakes Brewery, purchased a 30th birthday present for the brewery – a beautiful copper pilot system that can produce up to 700 litres (or 7 barrels). From this, GLB created their “7 Barrel Series” that allows them to create more unique and experimental beers – just like this one!

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To start the mashing process, Brew Day participants poured four different grains into the copper mash/lauter tun – Barn Owl Pilsner, Pale Ale, Red Wheat and Munich.

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VQH Farms Chinook, Cascade and Centennial hops were then measured and added to the wort. There will be a touch of dry-hopping later in the process for good aroma measure!

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And last but certainly not least, the “Wild Thing” wild Saccharomyces yeast from Escarpment Labs was added for the fermentation process to begin!

And now, we wait. Want to get a taste of the final product? You can check it out at the 12th Annual Terroir Symposium being held on Monday, April 23rd at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

As a bonus, if you've signed up for the Craft Beer Master Class, you'll get a chance to sit in on a locally-driven discussion between Peter Bulut from Great Lakes Brewery, Rob Morra from Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. and Crystal Luxmore from Beer Sisters.

In the meantime, stay tuned for a creative logo featuring the “Yours To Discover” name – another collaboration by both breweries’ creative teams.

Meet Ned Bell, Legendary Ocean Wise Chef

If you couldn’t tell by now, we are sustainable seafood superfans. In addition to partnering with Ocean Wise, we’re thrilled to welcome back sustainable seafood advocate, Ned Bell.

Ned is the talented Ocean Wise Executive Chef. Not only does he practice what he preaches in the kitchen, he is also committed to preaching the word across the country.

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In 2014, Chef Ned created Chefs for Oceans in partnership with the Ocean Wise seafood program. This movement engages chefs and communities across Canada to ask questions about the seafood they’re eating, where it comes from and how to make ocean-friendly choices. Ned was able to raise tremendous awareness by riding his bike across the country for this worthy cause. Talk about provoking inspiration!

The goal is that through increased awareness and accessibility to sustainable seafood, environmentally responsible practices will become the standard for generations to come. Ned hopes that one day, all Canadians will be able to easily access sustainable seafood for themselves and their families. We can’t wait to be a part of that world.

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Besides his work with Ocean Wise and Chefs for Oceans, chef Ned Bell is also an ambassador for National Sustainable Seafood Day; a day that highlights the importance of healthy rivers, lakes and oceans for both people and our environment. With his two young children in mind, he is dedicated to making our oceans healthier for all children and future generations.

Hear from Ned and others in the sustainable seafood movement at Terroir 2018. He will be joined by Hana Nelson of Afishionado Fishmongers, Maxime Daigle of La Maison Beausoleil and Sonia Strobel of Skipper Otto to talk about how you, as a consumer and/or foodservice professional, can support your fishmongers and oyster farmers.

Learn more about sustainability guidelines and how to prepare some of these delicious fish in Chef Ned’s new cookbook, Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast.


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ABOUT OCEAN WISE

Overfishing is one of the biggest threats our oceans face today. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is our assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. With over 700 Ocean Wise partners with thousands of locations across Canada, the Ocean Wise seafood program makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come.


Discover Small-Batch Craft Cider in Thornbury Village

Take a trip into the famous Blue Mountains along Georgian Bay in Ontario and you will come across a plethora of sweet apple offerings. While you're there, make sure you stay awhile in Thornbury, the heart of Ontario apply country. With a variety of knowledgeable, experienced apple growers, it's the idyllic place to build a hard cider house.

That's one of the reasons Thornbury Village Craft Cider House set up shop right smack-dab in the heart of the town. They've been producing award-winning, premium quality Ontario craft ciders in their century-old historic apple processing facility since 2007.

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Thornbury Village Craft cider is carefully crafted in small batches using Ontario-sourced, fresh-pressed apples.

Thornbury is committed to using only the best production systems to make an authentic product that reflects the quality of the apples they source. The hope is that one day Thornbury Village will be associated with cider the way that Niagara is associated with Canadian wine.

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Their flagship product, Thornbury Premium Apple Cider, is the #1 selling Ontario-made craft cider. This cider drinks like the classic English-style cider – light, dry & crisp. Best served chilled or over ice on a sun-soaked patio. BONUS: Thornbury Premium Cider is 100% gluten-free!

Beyond their flagship cider, they also offer other unique creations like the tart but refreshing cranberry apple cider and the a seasonal spiced autumn cider, both available in their tasting room. A visit to their brand new tasting room means getting to try their latest experimental varietals and learning more about the cider making process.  

Enjoy the celebrated Thornbury Village Craft Cider being poured at the 12th Annual Terroir Symposium.


Find out more about Thornbury Village Craft at thornburycraft.com

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Newcomer Kitchen Creates Hub for Syrian Families

Newcomer Kitchen is "cooking up opportunity" for Syrian refugee families in Toronto. 

Many people in this country are happy to announce they “are proud to be Canadian.” People quickly go on to recount a story or explanation about what it means to be Canadian or why it’s so great to live in the Great White North.

A common thread in many of these stories is how Canada is inclusive.

We’re here to share one of these stories. It’s an outstanding story about a small restaurant space that became a community for newcomers in a strange city.

 Photo by Newcomer Kitchen

Photo by Newcomer Kitchen

The Depanneur is a unique venue in Toronto’s West-End that hosts culinary activities and creative pop-up food experiences. Recently, “The Dep” as it’s affectionately known, opened its doors to the Newcomer Kitchen. This non-profit organization invites Syrian refugee women to cook a weekly meal in the Dep’s kitchen space.

This was a simple idea that has grown into something bigger thanks to the collaborative nature of everyone involved. It’s transformed into a beautiful, engaging food experience for the community, while providing new economic & social opportunities for the women and their families. Bringing people together in the kitchen has provided a safe and persistent semblance of home. It has allowed them to share stories, nurture relationships and pass along knowledge, while learning more about Canadian culture.

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It’s an inspiring story, one we’re proud to share. Len SenaterRahaf Alakbani & Esmaeel Aboufahker, co-founders of Newcomer Kitchen, join us at the Terroir Symposium on April 23, 2018 to discuss their success in building this incredible network. Their goal is to create a model that can one day be replicated with any newcomer group, in any restaurant kitchen, in any city around the world.

Newcomer Kitchen’s weekly pop-up will be hosted at The Depanneur on Wednesdays starting February 7th, 2018. The meals are sold online for pickup or delivery, and the proceeds are shared among the cooks.

To learn more about how to support or get involved with the Newcomer Kitchen, visit their website here.