Reservation ‘Drops’ and Foodie Matchmaking: Inside Resy’s New Culinary Campaign

Resy Reservationship Pop-Up Questionnaire_Photo Credit Middle Grey Studios

Attendees took a playful menu quiz that helped “reservation matchmakers” determine the restaurant style best suited to their taste.

Chew on this: According to data commissioned by Resy, nearly one in three diners admit to feeling overwhelmed when tasked with organizing a restaurant reservation, and 48 percent are worried about ensuring they choose a worthwhile establishment. With those stats in mind and restaurant bookings at an all-time high, Resy launched a “Reservationship” campaign aimed at demonstrating to foodies that its platform helps them secure the perfect restaurant reservation every time they book. The brand brought the program to life by planting a custom-built, larger-than-life “Reserved” table tent in a high-traffic area of New York’s Flatiron Plaza, where passersby were invited to participate in a mock restaurant experience.

It was essential that Resy underscore its role as matchmaker between restaurants and diners, and the Reservationship (a play on the words “relationship” and “reservation” that has been trademarked) pop-up was designed to do just that. Attendees first checked in the same way they would on the Resy app, then were taken inside the tent, where they received a hot hand towel, water and a black-and-white cookie from Russ & Daughters—all nods to Resy’s hospitality chops.

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Once seated, attendees were paired with a “reservation matchmaker,” who facilitated an a-la-carte, tongue-in-cheek menu quiz (written by Resy’s editorial team) that helped participants determine which style of restaurant was best suited to their tastes. They then handed their quiz to the matchmaker, who swiftly returned with a giant silver cloche, and opened it to reveal a mini card stating the dining category that best matched the attendee’s profile. The categories mirrored the curated collections the brand offers on its website and app, like “Climbing on Resy,” which caters to trendsetter foodie types.

Visitors were invited to stay as long as they liked and, before leaving, were invited to work with a reservationist who booked them a table at one of more than 20 restaurants in New York City, including Five Acres, Golden Diner, Cosme, Le Dive and Emmett’s on Grove. Resy negotiated with its restaurant partners to hold the reservations for dates two weeks out.

“Now that we are in this new chapter of Resy, of dining, of hospitality, it felt like an amazing opportunity for us to come out and present a new brand platform for Resy—one that is recognizing that reservations are at an all-time high, recognizing that reservations have become cultural currency and where we know that people are feeling an immense amount of pressure to select the restaurant,” says Hannah Kelly, cmo at Resy. “And with that, we’re highlighting the role of Resy, which is to connect the world’s best restaurants with diners… What was unique about this is that we wanted to have a real-life manifestation of our brand.”

Resy Reservationship Pop-Up Reservation_Cloche Match_Photo Credit Middle Grey Studios

Nods to hospitality included quiz results delivered to attendees in a silver cloche.

To ensure the Reservationship campaign made waves in markets outside of Manhattan, Resy also enabled reservation “drops,” stealing a page from the streetwear category. The brand teamed up with top restaurants (two in each city) in Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. to exclusively “drop” their reservations on its platform on specific days of the week for each market, and give consumers a shot at scoring a table at a coveted eatery. Those who were able to snag one of the reservations for later in the month were treated to special experiences while they dined, including off-menu dishes and take-home treats.

“It’s something that we may look to replicate, given that we have users and guests who are obviously obsessed with restaurants and they’re trying to figure out when restaurants are dropping their reservations,” says Kelly. “Is this a model that we want to take moving forward? Again, it was something new and different for us as a brand.”

Rounding out the launch of the Reservationship campaign was the release of reservations to exclusive experiences at five of London’s hottest restaurants, as well as new editorial guides within Resy’s “The One Who Keeps the Book” column, which aims to answer consumers’ burning questions about how to get into a restaurant.

All told, the pop-up event saw more than 600 guests come through, who booked 500-plus restaurant reservations over the course of the day. And Kelly says this is just the beginning of a one- to three-year Reservationship campaign poised for a host of experiential activity. Bon appétit. Agencies: Shiraz Creative; Day One Agency; Dentsu; Universal McCann Worldwide; Hope & Glory; Zuzu Digital.

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
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