Restaurant owners hate slow times and love to see customers fill empty tables.
Diners like to save money at their favorite places to eat.
The best way to download the Eat on the House app is to search “The House Chattanooga” or to go to the business’ website, EatonTheHouse.com which will text a downloadable link directly to your smartphone.
Source: Eat on the House app
Serving those needs is the goal of a new smartphone app, Eat on the House, launched recently by two Chattanooga entrepreneurs who are both named "Matt" — Matt Patterson, the venture's founder and chief executive officer, and Matt Harb, co-founder and chief operating officer.
About 30 independently owned Chattanooga eateries are using the app.
If a restaurant has a few empty tables, the owner or manager can put together an offer in less than a minute. Users of the app scroll down to see daily specials listed with photos of the restaurant or its food. For example, offers Tuesday included $2 tacos at Southside Social, 75-cent oysters at The Social, and half-off sushi rolls at Totto Sushi Bar & Grill.
"It's an exclusive-offer platform that gives the restaurant an agile way to optimize and fill their availability without having to create a 'happy hour' that applies to everyone that walks in the door," Patterson said. "And it gives the consumer great exclusive offers at their favorite places in town."
Harb, whose father owned about a dozen different Knoxville-area restaurants over the years, said the app "is a lot like a foldable sandwich board for restaurants to write on."
The duo say about 2,500 people have downloaded the app. Restaurateurs like it, they say.
"The reception's been awesome," Patterson said.
The duo initially rolled out the app at no charge to local restaurants, but eventually asked restaurants to pay a monthly subscription fee of $149. They figure their app is a good match for about 50 restaurants here in Chattanooga.
"There's that many that fit the brand," Harb said.
Restaurateur Nathan Lindley, who owns The Public House, The Social and Il Primo, is giving the app a try.
"On any given shift, a table that's not full is lost revenue that can't be regained," Lindley said. "There's maybe a few too many apps trying to reach restaurants. This one is trying to reach a unique segment. I think it really has legs."
Patterson and Harb first plan to expand to nearby cities, such as Nashville and Birmingham, Ala. Ultimately, they'd like to have thousands of restaurants use their app.
Patterson is a co-founder and former COO of Bellhops, a Chattanooga startup that helps people move their belongings that's gotten millions of dollars in venture capital. Patterson and Harb, who's a recent business grad from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, have self-funded their Eat on the House app so far.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.
Chattanooga restaurants that currently use the Eat on the House app, include:
› 1885 Grill
› The Bitter Alibi
› Daily Ration
› Slick’s Burgers
› FIVE Bar
› Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria
› Food Works
› STIR Chattanooga
› Good Dog
› Embargo 62
› The Public House
› Fiamma Pizza Company
› The Social
› Terra Nostra Tapas & Wine
› Bluewater Grille
› Alleia Restaurant
› Terra Mae
› Feed Table & Tavern
› Back Inn Cafe
› Comedy Catch
› Big River Grille
› Backstage Bar
› Camp House
› Southside Social
› Matilda Midnight
› Chattanooga Brewing Co.
› Tennessee Stillhouse
Source: Eat on the House app