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GoPapaya Brings HotelTonight Model To The Restaurants Biz

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GoPapaya provides customers with last minute savings (up to 50% off the entire bill) in restaurants by allowing real time dynamic pricing, based on supply and demand. For restaurants it’s a new way to drive more guests based on the demand to fill their empty tables and in the same time to have a full control.

Below is our interview with Marik Marshak, CEO at GoPapaya:


Q: What’s GoPapaya’s story?

A: Today the price of dining out is fixed, in fact it is printed on paper and does not change as a function of supply and demand, unlike other areas of hospitality and travel, for example: hotels and airlines.

Until today when a restaurant has empty tables, it does not have a good active way to generate instant demand for the empty tables in real time. For customers today, there is no way to know which restaurants have a high demand for guests and to benefit from these opportunities. The challenge is how to connect them to generate a win-win situation for both parties in real time.

This is where GoPapaya come to the picture.

GoPapaya provides customers with a way to get last minute table and saving in restaurants. Customer can score up to 50% off entire bill, without the need to prepay and there is no fine print. Diners are not restricted what they can order or how much, and in the end they see their immediate saving on the receipt. Customers do not need to show any coupons, paper or their device to get the saving.

For restaurants we provide a way to dynamically change their prices only for their empty tables based on real time condition, and by doing so drive more guests, while able to have a full control. Only consumers that went to the restaurant through GoPapaya will enjoy the saving while all other guests will not be aware of that. We wanted to achieve the same effect like it happens in an airplane, each passenger is paying a difference price but nobody else knows how much you paid for the ticket. Same thing happens with GoPapaya, only the consumer that used GoPapaya and the restaurant know about the saving.

The end is a win-win for both customers and restaurants. Consumers save money, the restaurant owners get money to cover their fixed cost and the waiters get more tips (empty table do not pay tips).

We just launched in metro Boston, and for now we have an iOS app. The Android app is in the works.

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Q: What gave you the idea?

A: I observed that restaurants have empty tables pretty much all the time, the only difference is how many empty tables. When hotels have an empty rooms in the last minute they drop their prices, however today when restaurant has an empty table what it does today? Nothing, it remains empty. At the same time the restaurant has fixed costs. All this does not make sense.

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Q: What makes GoPapaya a good choice?

A: GoPapaya is a good choice because it addresses the restaurants need to fill their empty tables and still let them be in full control. And for consumer it is great choice because it is a free service that allows to save money on great restaurants with no need to wait in line or do any planning. We vet each restaurant on the platform so consumers should feel comfortable with the selection of restaurants.

Q: What kinds of feedback are you getting from users?

A: Consumers are excited by this new way to save money on great restaurant without the need to do any long planning. They initially do not believe that this is free service, but it is. They want to see more restaurants, they want us to operate in more cities and they want to have an Android version (which we are already working on). Restaurants are excited that now they have away to promote their empty table and fill them up.

Q: Who is your customer base or demographic?

A: Our demographic includes every adult that uses mobile device that likes to eat great food, loves to save money and want to be more spontaneous. I will say that this is pretty much everybody.
GoPapaya is not meant to be used when you need to plan for future date to go to specific restaurant, if you are flexible we at GoPapaya will reward you by getting to a restaurant without wait time and save money.

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Q: How do you hope to fit into the market?

A: GoPapaya is filling the gap of instant reservation for immediate seating with money saving unlike any other solution today.

We believe that GoPapaya will introduce a behavioral change with consumers that will allow them to do less planning, as well encourage them to eat out more We also hope that because of the incentives people will be more willing to try new restaurants that they did not try before, as well as will try out of reach restaurants they wouldn’t normally consider due to higher price point.

We see GoPapaya as complementing any reservation system the restaurant use, if they have one. GoPapaya works just fine even if the restaurant does not take reservations.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: We are in the process of raising money and expanding the team to allow us to expand to more cities in the USA.

Our goal that GoPapaya app will be an app that people use all the time when they want to eat out, we would like that people will associate eating out with using the GoPapaya app. We plan that GoPapaya will have something for every taste, life style and budget.

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