A new site designed to make that tough decision of where to eat tonight a bit easier for restaurant-goers and food lovers has launched in DC. From the Food Network, the reservation site CityEats is partnering with Graffiato’s Chef/Owner, Mike Isabella, and competing directly with OpenTable.
CityEats’ innovative cloud-based technology attempts to make reservations easy on multiple platforms – tablets, smart phones, and laptops. The site’s web design and functionality draw users into a welcome atmosphere to watch videos, post and read reviews, look through professional- shot photos, and make reservations. The rich content gives you a feel for a new restaurant before making a commitment.
CityEats directly competes with Open Table and claims that restaurant owners could save up to 40% in reservation fees. What CityEats lacks is the sheer number of participating restaurants and user reviews. However, with popular restaurants like Graffiato, Martin’s Tavern, and Chef Todd Grey’s Watershed joining CityEats, who’s to say how loyal OpenTable users are?
The two companies could be going after entirely different demographics. OpenTable offers an excellent rewards program that gives points to frequent users that they can exchange for free meals. For the deal-seeking user, OpenTables also offers 30% off at more than two dozen restaurants.
In contrast to the reward- and deal seeking-users at OpenTable are the knowledge- seeking foodie users that CityEats tries to capture with its blog, thePLATE. ThePLATE features new recipes, news on local restaurants, upcoming foodie and charity events, and one-on-one interviews with restaurant owners and chefs. With CityEats you can also sign up to receive updates, list and post reviews, make reservations in real time, and learn more about the local food culture. Hmm, that sounds a little more like Zagat to me.
Give CityEats a try and let us know what you think – leave a comment below!