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Restaurant booking platform offers big discounts using location tech

eatigo matches users with restaurants in their city based on factors like distance and the maximum discount offered

eatigo, a popular restaurant reservation platform, operates in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Malaysia. In 2017, the Bangkok-headquartered company made a foray into the Indian market and partnered with 300 restaurants and hotels.

For matching users with restaurants that are offering a good discount at a particular time, the platform uses location intelligence. “The same restaurant offers different discounts at different times of the day, based on various factors like what day of the week it is, location, weather conditions, or if it is a dinner or lunch.”, says Vinol Joy D’Souza, Vice President, Business Intelligence, eatigo.

The platform uses location technology to determine how far a customer would be willing to travel for availing a big discount. For instance, he could be very happy to travel a kilometer to get a 50% discount, but not at all in a mood to travel the same distance for a mere 10% discount.

Vinol Joy D’Souza, Vice President, Business Intelligence, eatigo.

Influencing consumer behavior

“The biggest thing which we do is our yielding program, using which we shift customers from a particular time slot. This way his dining behavior is changed, as a person who generally eats at 6 pm, would now prefer 4:30 pm”, adds D’Souza. He cites the case of the Philippines, where are a lot of customers now eat at 3 pm, instead of 6 pm.

Enhanced data analytics capabilities would boost Business Intelligence (BI) and unlock a lot of opportunities. Though matching customers with time is a relatively new concept, a lot of restaurants are beginning to understand yielding. Hotels understand this concept pretty well because they use it to determine room rates as per the occupancy level.

eatigo app is based on microservices and uses the latest technology. This gives the company enough latitude for experimentation, hand wiring and revamping the app interface whenever they want. Different features can conveniently be launched as per the required targeting. The benefit is that eatigo can simultaneously do experiments, asses them and deploy them. The company is building new products to expand its user base and offer more services to its customers. The company takes technical assistance in CRM, geofencing and geoanalytics from third-party companies like BRACE and Qlik GeoAnalytics.

New business models

“We are in the reservations space but now we are venturing into the commercial space, where we aim those restaurants that don’t use our platform for reservations would use it for yielding”, says D’Souza.

eatigo has started a new service known as eatigo Market where customers can pre-buy what they want to order from the app, and then go and collect their order. This feature is aimed at fast-food franchises like McDonalds that do not reserve seats but want to reap the benefits of yielding so that more people frequent the restaurant at a time that they prefer.

Technologies like 5G and IoT will definitely have an impact of location-based services and platforms like eatigo, but it’s also about ensuring data transparency so that people know which data is being collected. These technologies will provide more personalized services to the consumers, provided they opt for them.

We are expanding our capabilities in terms of our offerings in BI and AI. It is an ongoing process and we test measures, implement them and learn and re-learn all the time, D’Souza emphasizes.