When you’re out to dinner with friends, things can get awkward fast after the meal is over. The check is passed around, people pull out their iPhone calculators, and inevitably you come up $2 short.
gDine wants to make your group dining experiences smoother. Available in Chicago and New York, it offers group rates for everything from sushi to burgers. And you pay a fixed price per person ahead of time, so no one gets jipped.
Below, founder and CEO Rakesh Thakkar explains how being a restaurant owner in the culinary haven of Chicago led him to start gDine.
Tech Cocktail: What was the inspiration behind gDine?
Rakesh Thakkar: I had the idea to start gDine while I owned my own restaurant and was frustrated by the lack of options restaurants had to leverage the Internet to drive business.
Tech Cocktail: Why is gDine so special?
Thakkar: We will continue to differentiate ourselves moving forward by really solving the group dining dilemma. Getting a group together to dine is hard, from coordinating calendars, choosing a restaurant that everyone agrees on and meets their budget, to the worst part of group dining…splitting the check.
Tech Cocktail: What is the biggest advantage of starting up in Chicago?
Thakkar: I cannot think of a better place to launch a restaurant-related technology company. Chicago is such a great restaurant town and the consumers here really represent a good cross-section of society. There is a reason that the National Restaurant Show is hosted here every year.
On the technology side, we also have a burgeoning ecosystem for startups with many great companies that are leading the way, like GrubHub, Groupon, Restaurant.com, etc. It is really exciting to be a part of that.
Tech Cocktail: What’s one quirky fact about you, your team, or your office culture?
Thakkar: I actually came up with the idea for gDine while doing a headstand practicing yoga. Unfortunately, since then I have had no time for yoga!
gDine was a showcased startup at our Tech Cocktail Techweek mixer.