Restauranteers: Eat Well And Save Money

Photo by Alvin Ngan.

This local start-up allows you to splurge on dinner for a comfortable price.

Since when did splurging on dinner also mean saving? In a city of foodies and hole-in-the-wall eateries, we all love a good meal out on the town, but the pastime just hasn’t been very economical in recent years.

Photo by Alvin Ngan.

Restauranteers is all about changing that. Members pay a monthly membership of $4.99, make meal reservations on the Restauranteers website, dine and enjoy — and when the bill comes, they will receive a discount of 20 to 50 percent. Eating out is now more affordable — and you don’t even need to bring a printed voucher to earn your savings.

Edward Nevraumont had the idea for Restauranteers in the summer of 2010. He teamed up with a colleague to produce a dining club that knocks one-time deal sites out of the game.

“The problem with most promotions is that, number one, you’re only talking to your previous or regular customers, so they are the first people to take advantage,” Nevraumont explained. “Second, you have a lot of cross-promotion happening, and everyone tends to go out on Friday and Saturday nights so the restaurants have more than they can handle.”

The founders of Restauranteers set out to bring new people into local restaurants. To ensure tables are open, the site offers reservation times set by the individual restaurants; plenty of tables during the lulls and fewer tables at busier times. Wouldn’t you go out for dinner at 5 p.m. on a Thursday instead of 6:30, if it meant 30 percent off of your entire bill?

“We wanted to create a new restaurant experience, based on recommendation,” Nevraumont said. “What we really wanted to bring customers was access to inventory, such as a special table, a chat with the chef, etc. that isn’t normally available. It’s kind of an upgrade program for regular and loyal restaurant-goers.”

If site visitors know where they would like to eat, reservations to specific restaurants can be made online. Adventurous diners can experience something new by allowing the site to choose a restaurant for them, based on price range and personal preferences. Who knows? You may discover a new favorite! Restaurants that have joined the site include Club SurEva Restaurant & Wine Bar, Olivar, June, Le Gourmand and more.

Restauranteers launched last spring, and more cities are on the way. Nevraumont says he has eyes on more than just restaurants for the model — and his company is “playing around with the idea of bringing bars and clubs into the picture.” Since bars don’t take reservations, he explained, the model for that idea could be that if one opened a tab prior to a certain cut-off time, then they would get a discount on their bill at the end of the night.

The perks change for different restaurants, and Restauranteers is currently adding many more dining spots to its repertoire. For now, though, there are plenty to choose from for your date night, birthday dinner — or just a luxurious evening out on the town.