Down with Toasters – Try Foodie Registry Instead

May 10, 2010

8:01 pm

Gift cards and wedding registries make up multi-billion dollar industries and restaurants gift cards and certificates make up a very large segment of all gift card purchases. In a city like Chicago where upscale restaurants flourish and competition is fierce, gifting dinners is a huge opportunity – one that Foodie Registry is jumping on.

Foodie Registry is an online gift registry site for upscale Chicago restaurant gift certificates. Perfect for wedding couples but open to anyone, people register for various amounts at some of Chicago’s top restaurants, including Sunda, Naha, Takashi, Sola, and more.

The idea was born when Jennifer Reid found herself frustrated with traditional registry options before her wedding. Disappointed with the lack of a restaurant registry option, she made her own makeshift version for her wedding then worked with husband Ben and another partner to build out Foodie Registry.

The model is simple –  register for free, then choose from the site’s selection of restaurants adding in the dollar amount you want for each. Gift purchasers go through the person’s registry and choose which item they would like to contribute to. They can either purchase an entire item or contribute any amount to it. So if I request a $300 gift certificate to Sunda for my birthday, 5 of my friends could go in on it contributing various amounts of money.

There are no fees for registrants or purchasers and even restaurants can get listed for free. Foodie Registry makes money via a simple commission structure with their partner restaurants each time an actual gift certificate is sold. At time of writing there were roughly 40 restaurants listed on the site and they seem focused on growing that number. The restaurants are limited to Chicago at this time but co-founder Ben Reid admits they would eventually love to see Foodie Registry expand to other cities as well.

Foodie Registry’s official opening event is May 16th, but you can see them demo as a showcased startup at TECH cocktail Chicago 13 on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 at John Barleycorn in Wrigleyville.

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Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.

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