Gone are the days when you waited outside a restaurant, paid exorbitantly for a meal and missed out on the best new restaurants in town. With Dineout, now all the info about eating out is just a click away. Founded in 2012, by four school friends, Ankit Mehrotra, Vivek Kapoor, Nikhil Bakshi and Sahil Jain, Dineout is an online table reservation website and app for diners to book a table at their favourite restaurants in town.
Operating in Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, the app helps diners discover restaurants and explore newer joints. Dineout has since then grown and had raised a round of angel investment in late 2012. Currently, Dineout is the largest table reservation platform in the country and has grown to 8 cities and seated more than 6 million diners till date at 3000 restaurants in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Restaurant India, Jain who looks after the complete product development and growth/retention strategies at Dineout, shares his journey as a tech-entrepreneur.
What led you to the entrepreneurial journey?
I have always been passionate about building innovative and scalable tech products. It was after few years in Seattle working for an analytics company that I felt the need for going home and doing something on my own. It was the time when OpenTable acquired a competitor service called TopTable in October 2010 for $55 million. This news triggered the idea for Dineout, as India didn’t have such concept. As I shared the idea with my childhood friends, it resonated collectively and we launched the company in 2012. Our app has a very animated, buoyant and customer-friendly look, which makes it easy for users to reserve tables. For the last minute bookings, users can call and Dineout specialists would guide them to book a table.
What is unique about Dineout?
Dineout introduced India to the concept of Table Reservations. Today, the product has evolved tremendously, making dining experience simpler, and even more rewarding by discovering new restaurants, getting amazing discounts and offers, paying restaurant bills online, earning Cashbacks and even buying event tickets. It also offers restaurants solutions that can help them manage tables, customer feedback, delivery orders, and get deep insights into their business and their customer.
How has your brand grown over the years?
Today, we cater to more than 4 lakh diners per month securing their reservation at over 1000 top restaurants across New Delhi/NCR and Mumbai. Some of the best brands in Delhi/NCR work with is. Restaurants like Olive Bar & Kitchen, Smoke House Group, Claridges, Out of the Box Café, Striker are our steady partners. Top brands in cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad are also engaging with us increasingly.
What is the latest trend among Indian diners?
Our app is very popular among the city youth and the age group it mostly varies from 16- 35 years which include college goers and corporates who prefer fine dining restaurants and pubs where cost of food for two is more than 1000 rupees. Interestingly 55% of our users are female. We are also seeing the fad for fusion food catching up fast among the foodies.
Do you think there are too many players in the tech-startup space already?
Tech start-ups are burgeoning in the country, but I do not see any possibility of threat. The market is large and with demonitisation, the habit of using tech is catching up fast. Paytm has already made Indians take up tech as a daily ritual. This will see a surge and tech start-ups will continue to grow.