Every restaurant has its busy and quiet periods, but a new reservation app called Requested wants to help eateries and bars fill their tables during those off-peak hours by enabling customers to offer to pay less when business is slow.
The free app — currently operating out of Sacramento — is bringing dynamic pricing to the food industry, enabling customers to haggle for reductions of up to 25 percent, which the restaurant can accept when they are quiet. To begin, customers browse the eateries on the app and make reservation requests to as many as they like, specifying the price they want to pay. The app then assesses the request and offers feedback such as ‘chances are great’ or ‘risky.’ Next, the restaurant chooses whether to deny or accept the offer — if they accept it, the customers can go and claim their table. At the end of the meal, payments — including any agreed upon discounts — are automatically processed through the app via credit card.
Requested can also be used in the reverse — enabling desperate diners to pay a bit more to secure a table at a busy spot or skip a long queue. Could this system be extended even further, enabling diners to pay less for dishes that have been unpopular that day and are going to go to waste?