Apps such as Seated, Craved, and OpenTable are enticing diners with various reward schemes, including up to 40 percent off a dinner bill if you eat in rather than take out.
With meal deliveries now accounting for as much as 60 percent of restaurant traffic, some owners are turning the tables on customers, thanks to several apps that allow diners to earn gift certificates or discounts in exchange for making a reservation during off-peak hours.
OpenTable offers points that can be redeemed for discounts on another visit. Craved offers a straight discount on a bill. Seated offers a kickback from the bill that can be used toward experiences and gift cards from everywhere from Delta to Amazon.
One of the most important developments for the industry has been the rapid growth of the off-premises market: takeout, delivery, curbside, food trucks. Seamless, Grubhub, and MealPal, which offers discounted portions of restaurant-quality meals, have created new revenue streams.
While restaurant sales are still healthy, the growing trend of ordering takeout means restaurant owners have to turn to new ideas in an attempt to beat out the competition and keep their dining rooms full.