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HostMe – Revolutionizes The Way Restaurants Do Business

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HostMe is a modern restaurant management system that revolutionizes the way restaurants do business. HostMe combines reservation, wait list, and loyalty program management into one modern platform. Below is our interview with Evgeny Popov, co-founder of HostMe:


Q: HostMe replaces the traditional reservation system; how else can restaurants put HostMe to work?

A: When we created HostMe 2 years ago, the idea was to replace restaurant pager systems with a modern solution that would keep guests in the loop via their mobile phones. As we were progressing on the wait list module, we spotted an opportunity to modernize reservation systems—so we built a new type of reservation system. We also added a guest loyalty module designed specifically for restaurants, with a focus on member acquisition.

Q: What are the benefits of using the HostMe wait list system?

A: First and foremost, cost. Old-style pager systems are at least 2 times more expensive than the HostMe system. Plus, HostMe uses 2-way messaging to communicate, which reduces cancellations by keeping guests in the loop. We collect data every day so that we can offer more accurate wait times, allowing guests to relax and freely walk and shop while waiting. Our customers have reported that the HostMe system enables staff to turn tables faster, which in turn reduces wait times for guests.

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Q: What is special about your reservation system compared to traditional ones?

A: We’ve all been in a situation where we were unable to make a reservation at our favorite restaurant because OpenTable had no open tables to offer—forcing us to decide between skipping the meal, or waiting in line. Hostme is an elegant solution to that exact problem; by combining a restaurant’s reservation system with its wait list management system, patrons can avoid long lines at their favorite restaurants. If a reservation is not available, patrons can put their names on the walk-in list in advance.

Q: How does your loyalty system overcome the loyalty member acquisition challenge?

A: The biggest challenge in implementing any loyalty program is actually getting people to sign up. Asking patrons to sign up for a loyalty program during or after their meal is a terrible strategy; HostMe instead offers guests the opportunity to sign up for the loyalty program while they are waiting for a table. Restaurants also have the option to reward guests for waiting with extra loyalty points (or maybe a free glass of wine,) making wait times a little more enjoyable.

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Q: How do you plan to compete with bigger players in the market?

A: Obviously, our biggest competitors are pager vendors and OpenTable; but both of those options have two downsides in common: old technology and an old business model that simply doesn’t work anymore. Most restaurant owners we’ve spoken to don’t like working with OpenTable; they are, however, afraid of losing customers if they leave the service. Our goal is to convince the industry that OpenTable is just a middleman and not an essential element of running a restaurant. You can read our blog post about OpenTable‘s game and why it safe to leave them.

Q: Is it possible to merge HostMe’s features with existing corporate applications?

A: Yes, absolutely. HostMe offers a fully functional application programming interface (API) enabling integration with POS, marketing automation, and other similar systems. Restaurants can easily add reservation or wait list management features into their own mobile application or website using the HostMe API.

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Q: What can we expect from HostMe in the future? What are your plans?

A: We’re setting ourselves up to become a diner’s #1 companion. Every day, we are expanding into more cities and on-boarding new restaurants onto our platform. Our plan is to constantly innovate in restaurants’ front-of-house software space, adding new features and new modules. I can tell you that we are working on new tool that will completely change the way reservation systems work. I don’t want to spoil the surprise—follow us on Twitter @hostmeapp for the latest updates.

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