Putting a focus on growing your startup
Note: This is Part 4 of 6. You can go to Part 3 of the story here.
After we launched One Hundred Tables in February 2013, we set out to build the business and grow the site each month afterwards.
Remember that entering into an online space like this was a little bit like a David and Goliath story. With brands and platforms like Yelp, OpenTable, Urban Spoon (at the time) out there, it took a much better or cooler idea to appeal to the users (Foodies) and the customers (Restaurants).
We heard from many restaurant owners who loved the One Hundred Tables idea because they told us they had had it with Yelp. They explained to us that didn’t like Yelp’s sales tactics nor the cost to advertise which could run into the hundreds of dollars per month or more.
Our approach was “no reviews”. One Hundred Tables was not a “review” platform. It was a restaurant showcase of restaurants already generally known to deliver a great overall dining experience.
If thousands of people have been to your restaurant and loved it, we’re not so worried about that one guy who didn’t like his meal that one day. We figured, if every restaurant on the site is already known to be great, who really needs reviews?
Bringing our “A” game
More to the point, who really wants to have to filter through the reviews to sort out the bad ones anyway?
One Hundred Tables cut to the chase in two ways:
- Each city was capped at 100 restaurants (I mean how many did you need to choose from anyway?)
- Each restaurant was pre-vetted by the wisdom of the crowd to be a good fit.
We next decided on a couple of ways to spread the word about what we were doing to increase overall awareness of the platform.
One of the ideas was to also create a highly curated group of Local Experts around the world who really knew their stuff…