DINR, a new, free, local app that helps diners find and make last minute reservations at a handful of Montreal restaurants (Le Bremner, Garde Manger, Hostaria, Joe Beef, Liverpool House, Le Majestique, Nora Gray, Tuck Shop) is now available for download.
Kyle Marshall Nares, co-owner of Garde Manger and Le Bremner, spoke today about the venture.
What exactly is DINR?
DINR is a mobile reservation service that provides day-of availabilities at some of the city’s best restaurants. We match openings and cancellations from our partner restaurants with users looking to eat really well without planning days or weeks in advance.
There are always lots of cancellations in restaurants, we just can’t anticipate where they’ll be or when they’ll be.
What is your involvement with this app and who else is behind it?
DINR came to life through a series of conversations that resulted in a collaboration between myself and Bryan Mahoney (co-owner of Dynamo, a web development company), along with his great, and growing team. As someone that likes to get their hands dirty, I’m involved in pretty much everything. That being said, I could do none of this alone- it’s been a real team effort.
Where did the idea come from?
The idea came from the multitude of comparable ‘at your fingertips’ services being offered i.e. cars, hotels, people. It only makes sense that an industry with constantly revolving inventories would have a dynamic tool to match diners and availabilities. There are always lots of cancellations in restaurants, we just can’t anticipate where they’ll be or when they’ll be. DINR puts these availabilities in one place.
How many restaurants are participating?
We’ve launched with eight great restaurants that we’re thrilled to have on board: Tuck Shop, Nora Gray, Joe Beef, Liverpool House, Le Majestique, Hostaria, Garde Manger and Le Bremner. We’ll definitely be expanding with more exciting restaurants in the future.
As a restaurant owner, do online reservation programs and reservation apps make your lives easier?
As of yet, there is no single tool that manages a reservation system perfectly- there are really too many variables. However, technology can help us organize and communicate our availabilities with far greater reach. For a restaurant owner, nothing beats a walk-in only policy, but this is not ideal for most diners. At DINR, we’re trying to take the planning out of the equation for our users and give the restaurants a smooth and simple tool to communicate with them.
What are the advantages of having this app?
Ever tried calling a busy restaurant for a reservation that same day? The biggest advantage is that it gives you the option of eating really well without having to plan in advance. It’s refreshing to be able to find a great restaurant at the last minute with a few taps of your finger. The lead up to eating out should be fun, not stressful.
What we’re asking for is accountability.
You charge a $30 fee for no-shows, was that a hard decision to make?
That was probably the easiest decision to make. What we’re asking for is accountability. In fact, without accountability we would be perpetuating the problem that already exists. We believe we offer a great proposition- we provide hard to get availabilities the same day, free of charge, with a one-touch cancellation feature up to one hour before the reservation time. All we ask is that people guarantee they’ll show up, and if for any reason they can’t, that they give us fair notice. It’s a shame for both diners and restaurants to have empty tables when the demand is there.
We think it could be a great fit for any city that has a vibrant restaurant culture.
Any plans for growth outside of the city?
For right now we’re really focused on making this a service that Montrealers love to use. Once we accomplish this, we think it could be a great fit for any city that has a vibrant restaurant culture. At the moment, we’re doing our beta testing in English and on Apple devices only. French and Android versions will be coming in the near future.