News at Smith

Next Generation Restaurant Reservations

Feb 12, 2015


SMITH BRAIN TRUST -- Valentine’s Day dinner reservations are tough for procrastinators, because unlike airline seats or concert tickets, you can’t simply pay more to get a prime spot on a busy night. Now a handful of restaurants are experimenting with premium reservations, which allow diners to pay a fee for a table with little or no lead time. Professor Il-Horn Hann, co-director of the Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy (DIGITS) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, spoke about the trend Feb. 11, 2015, on the Kojo Nnamdi Show at WAMU (88.5 FM).

“There are a lot of upsides for restaurants,” Hann said. Besides the additional shared revenue with table brokers such as Table8, restaurants will have a new way of connecting with business travelers.

“Business travelers are less price sensitive,” Hann said. “They are more likely to have an expense account that they can draw on. They are more likely to spend more. This opens new customers to the restaurant, which may lead to organic word-of-mouth either through social networks or personal connections.”

Other guests included Santosh Jayaram, co-founder of Table8; Tyes Zolman, director of operations at Pearl Dive and Republic restaurants; Tim Carman, food writer at The Washington Post; and Jared Barker, assistant general manager at Red Hen restaurant. Listen to the full conversation at


About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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