Reserve Acquires Set For Service, A Startup Offering Guest Management Tools For Restaurants

Reserve, a “dining concierge” startup that helps users with restaurant reservations and payments, has acquired bootstrapped New York City company Set for Service.

Set for Service offers a web and iPhone app (pictured below) that serves as a CRM system for restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Brooklyn Fare and dell’anima, allowing them to track details and feedback from their guests. Reserve co-founder and CEO Greg Hong said the initial plan is to continue offering the product to Set for Service’s clients while also deciding which features to bring into Reserve itself.

Set for Service founder and CEO Peter Esmond will become Reserve’s head of restaurant product and its New York general manager. He comes from the restaurant business, having served as general manager of Thomas Keller’s Per Se and director of operations at Rouge Tomate.

Esmond said while he’s seen many tech companies trying to enter the restaurant business, he found Reserve to be “super captivating” because of its broader vision for the industry.

“From my side, I liked that they were creating a product that is very restaurant-focused,” he said. “It’s built with their best interests in mind.”

Set for Service

Hong added that while he made offers to other Set for Service employees (it had less than five team members), they decided “it just didn’t make sense for them to join the Reserve team.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Reserve launched out of startup studio Expa last fall. Through the app, users can browse partner restaurants, request reservations (and find alternate choices if a restaurant is full), and after the meal, the app also handles payment — including splitting the check, if necessary.

Even at launch, Reserve had already acquired the team behind Boston reservation startup SpoonSpoon. Earlier this year, it also announced the acquisition of reservation service Zurvu and check-splitting service HAIL.

“What inevitably happens is that we end up talking to a lot of different technology people in the space,” Hong said. “We continue to talk to them and figure out how we can work together whether that’s through acquisitions or partnerships or otherwise. This is such a huge space for us, so to be able to …bring on more talented people who have an understanding across the entire business is something we couldn’t be happier about.”