NIGHTLIFE RESERVATIONS: NITE TABLES
Hot clubs in NYC and the lines outside of them seem to go hand in hand. And if you’re anything like us, having to wait in those lines just to party down is not exactly your idea of a fun time. Thanks to the soon-to-be-launched site, NiteTables, there is finally a solution to your queue waiting woes. In a recent interview, Zink Magazine’s Jennifer Swanson spoke with co-owner Matt Bosso to get the scoop on how they’re shaking up the nightlife.
JS: Hello Mr. Bosso. Thanks for speaking with us. What can you tell us about Nite Tables? What prompted you to create this website?
MB: We saw that there were internet efficiencies that exist in dining and travel that don’t really exist in nightlife. There’s not really that instant gratification that you have in other fields. So, Adam Alson, who is our founder and CEO, back in December came up with the idea and designed the site and contacted myself and Jon Zimmerli who is the other co-founder and we all agreed this sort of thing doesn’t really exist the way he envisioned it. And so, we went ahead and founded the company in January, raised some money from friends and family to get started and just started building the site and signing venue clients and started building the staff and we’re all really excited to be launching this in a week.
There are two sides to it. The front end of the site is for the customers and that’s where someone looking to go out would go to make their reservation. The booking process is very similar to the booking process for travel or dining. You would go to the site and there are some features on the home page, but mainly what you would be using is the venue finder, which is our custom-built search engine. So what that allows you to do is search the nearly 100 venues that we have now. So you would use the venue finder to go thru and do a search for what it is you’re looking for. It could be as broad as ‘hey, I just want to go out in New York tonight and I want to look through all of these clubs and see what’s out there.’ Or you can do a really specific search like ‘ok, I want to go out in the Flatiron district tonight and I’ve got 8 friends with me and we only listen to house or we only listen to hip-hop or we only listen to pop music and we only want to be in a place that serves Avian Tequila or Voli Vodka and we can afford a $100 per person, where can we go tonight?’ The search engine is really, really powerful. It’s great because it’s going to put people exactly where they want to go, and it’s going to take some of the guest work out of finding a place to go. The venue profile pages are incredibly robust. We’ve gone in and shot each new video tour of every venue that we’ve signed. We done photos and slideshows of every venue using really big images, not the thumbnails that people are used to. We’ve gone in and drawn floor plans for every single venue, so when you’re browsing the site and making a reservation, you know the exact area of where you’re going to be sitting, whether you’re by the dj booth or by the dance floor, whether you want to be close to the bathrooms. Whatever it may be. The venue profile page really provides a lot of clarity to the customer ahead of time.
When you are making the reservation, you indicate the date you want to go there, the number of people, and then your preferred seating area. If it’s available, you’ll get your preferred seating area if it fits your number of people and then you can go ahead and make the reservation. As a customer, you’re making the reservation in real time based on available inventory and the venue of your choice.
The back end is for the venues. This is where they can manager their events, inventory, schedule, and their package offers.
JS: How far in advance would you recommend we make reservations?
MB: The sooner, the better. As you know, reserving anything is first come, first serve. Whether you’re buying a plane ticket, or ticket to the Yankees game, or a movie ticket, it’s first come first serve so the earlier the better. But, these venues are made to be available so you can book the night of. We currently have an iphone application in development so you can book right before you show up at the venue if you want to. We are really trying to make sure that there is instant gratification in this process.
JS: What sort of features can we expect to find on the site?
MB: I think the Venue app is really what set us apart in terms of design of the site, functionality, and that you are choosing from available inventory in real time. You are getting a video and photo tour of the venue. You’re looking at the menu. I think it’s the creative assets that are a big point of differentiation for us from other sites.
JS: Is Nite Tables meant for bigger events, like parties, or will it help us out for any kind of night on the town?
MB: Any. It can be as simple as wanting to find a place for drinks if you’re going on a date for just 2 people. It can be as big as a 300 person corporate party. It really is up to the venue. And it’s really only limited to the creativity of the venues. If they want to put a package in there so your company can rent out the entire venue, they’re able to do that. If a sports bar wants to just make tables available for the 1pm game or the 4pm game on Sunday, they can do that. So, it’s really only limited to what they can think of. As far as the types of venues, it’s not just clubs and bars. It’s really what we are referring to as “activity” venues. There are hookah bars, karaoke bars, we even signed a cruise line so you can rent a party boat if you want to go out and do that. So it’s limited only to the imagination of the venues and the customers.
JS: Are there any perks to being a frequent user of the site?
MB? We are in the process of building a rewards program. So you’ll be able to accumulate points at one venue and use them anywhere. So that’s something that’s not part of the initial launch, but that will be there.
JS: Currently how many venues will be taking reservations through Nite Tables?
MB: We have close to 100 venues signed up in the New York Metro area. All of them will not be live on August 1st; we are going to roll them out over time. We are looking at 40 or so for August 1st. The numbers may be a little bit higher, but we are expected to roll out with 40 of the 100 and will be adding new venues each week to the site.
JS: Are you going to be branching out into other cities or is this service specifically for New York?
MB: For now, we are in New York. We would love to one day be in all the major cities, but for now we are just concentrating on doing it right in New York. Like any other business, hopefully we can have a really great launch and extend elsewhere with it.
JS: How do you see Nite Tables changing the future of nightlife?
MB: It goes back to instant gratification and internet efficiencies. Again, you’ve seen this with how you buy your movie tickets, how you buy tickets to sports event, and how the travel industry has changed. We see those business models coming to nightlife. Right now, the process of booking a table is a long process. It’s inefficient. This takes a process that can be hours or days long and gets it down to a few minutes. That’s the change we are hoping to create.
JS: Finally, when can we start booking?!
MB: On August 1st the site will be live. That’s when you can start booking.
About the owners:
Adam Alson – Founder: Adam Alson is an expert in media development, having started his career producing viral media that garnered upwards of ten million plays long before the YouTube sensation swept the world. Adam further honed his skills working for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets as their Online Marketing Director, and has been responsible for developing the web presences of world-renowned entertainers and athletes such as Muhammad Ali and The Jonas Brothers among others.
Matt Bosso, Co-Founder:Matt Bosso is a specialist in content creation and project management, previously working as the Executive Producer of the top-rated KTU Morning Show on 103.5 WKTU in New York City, as well as a Music Director for Clear Channel’s iHeartradio and Premium Choice programming platforms. In addition, he’s currently an on-air host for 103.5 KTU and Executive Producer/Correspondent for the nationally-syndicated Remix Top 30 Countdown. Matt has worked alongside legends such as Whoopi Goldberg and has interviewed some of the biggest stars in music, including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige, to name a few.
Jonathan Zimmerli, Co-Founder: Jonathan Zimmerli first made his mark a decade ago in the luxury sales market at Helzberg Diamonds, moving diamonds and precious stones to high net worth individuals and celebrities alike. Jonathan then moved on to client retention for the Nightlife sector at Phoenix Beverages, who represent such brands as Heineken, Guinness, and Miller, among many others.
-Jessica Olm/ Jennifer Swanson