SevenRooms, a CRM platform for the hospitality industry, has closed $8 million in Series A funding led by Comcast Ventures. This brings the company's total financing to $16.4 million following previous investments made by renowned chef Thomas Keller, the founders of Nathan's Famous, Box Group, former K-Swiss president David Nichols and the owners and operators of Breakthru Beverage Group.
Founded in 2011, the New York company provides white-label software that allows restaurants to take reservations across websites and social media and measure which channels are most effective. It also allows businesses to create detailed guest profiles that track preferences, food allergies, order history and spend. With this information, restaurants can provide a tailored in-person experience as well as more targeted marketing campaigns.
SevenRooms does not offer a consumer app, and its model is about empowering organizations to own the relationship with customers, which is in contrast with other reservation technologies like OpenTable and Resy that have a substantial consumer presence. But that does not mean that SevenRooms sees those companies as competitors, in fact, it wants to integrate with them and any other solutions used in the hospitality business.
"Our goal is be a bridge, never a blocker, for any system the operator wants to use," said Joel Montaniel, co-founder and CEO, SevenRooms. "Historically, the technologies across different providers in the hospitality industry are very siloed and they don't talk to each other, so our goal is to connect all the systems."
Restaurants are often laggards when it comes to adopting new technology, but rising labor costs due to higher minimum wage and labor shortages coupled with food inflation has some looking to solutions that can provide some relief from the increased pressure on already tight margins.
"In order for their business to survive they have to change how they do things, otherwise they will go bust," said Montaniel. "So, they have been more open than ever to solutions, like ours, that provide measurable value and increase their bottom line while helping them provide hospitality."
SevenRooms charges its customers a $500 a month per location fee, and it said that in most cases restaurants received 200-300 percent return-on-investment. Today, it is in more than 100 cities worldwide, and it counts NoHo Hospitality Group, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, Bagatelle, TAO Group and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as customers.
The company has seen the number of guest it seats grow to more than 2 million people a month, which is a 327 percent year-over-year increase for the period ending in October 2017. But it is still only a small fraction of the more than 24 million diners a month that OpenTable seats.
With this new round of funding, the company plans to invest in product enhancements that will continue to allow organizations to provide more personalized guest services and marketing as well as merchandise experiences like chef tasting packages. SevenRooms will also focus on partnerships and integrations that allow for various hospitality tools to work together and share data, and it plans to make major announcements in that area in the first quarter of 2018.