Japan’s Pocket Concierge starts accepting pre-payments for restaurant reservations



See the original story in Japanese.

Pocket Concierge is a website that allows users to book popular restaurants, even if they are fully booked several months in advance. Tokyo-based startup Pocket Menu, the startup behind the service, yesterday launched a pre-payment service via credit card for restaurant reservations called the Pocket Experience function.

By registering credit card information when booking, a user will not need to check the bill and pay at the restaurant. So if you take your girlfriend or fiancée to a restaurant, you can avoid letting her know the amount of the bill—thus avoiding the risk of spoiling the mood.

Using this function, participating restaurants can shorten the payment process after serving customers, in addition to curtailing the reservation cancellations risk. Tests at 20 restaurants in Japan convinced Pocket Menu that the new function improves the operational efficiency of restaurants. Now available at 25 restaurants, the company plans to roll out this function to more restaurants soon.

The primary age group of their customers is from the mid-30s to 50s, with the average customer spending $150 per dining experience. To better serve international users, they plan to introduce an English version and expand to overseas cities, such as Paris.