Outside of sports leagues or private school admissions, few things are as competitive and ruthless as securing a coveted table at a prized restaurant.
People call in favors, try all sorts of concierge hook ups and even attempt the old $20 at the door to see what can be done, and even then, most people fail.
But even before that, there’s the issue of actually picking a restaurant. In some cities that’s fairly easy, but in cities like New York, where there’s more than 9,000 restaurants and bars all claiming to be great, the research can feel like doctoral studies.
Capital One seems to have the solution to both of these things, with the launch of their new Capital One Dining platform, setting lofty sights on becoming the go-to for dining experiences worth traveling for, even if it’s down the road.
The simultaneous launch of a new curated collection from world famous chef — and one of my favorites — Jose Andres; should seriously help. Details? You bet.
Capital One Dining
Capital One Dining is a new platform for all Capital One rewards credit card holders, which solves two problems: finding a great restaurant and actually booking it.
Capital One has partnered with celebrity chef Jose Andrés to curate a diverse and delicious list of circa 350 dining hot spots at most price points, in 11 launch cities. As part of inclusion in the lists, many restaurants will hold back special tables just for Capital One Dining.
In other words, the “what’s in your wallet” might be the ticket to a reservation not accessible to others who don’t carry a Capital One rewards card. That’s undeniably valuable, but it’s the curation which is unique.
The thought of landing in an unfamiliar city, unsure where to eat, and having a pocket guide to some of Jose Andrés’ favorite spots, or quasi-endorsed chefs is extremely cool and takes so much of the hassle out.
Even if tables are readily bookable, a great recommendation is always appreciated. The time and effort saved in finding that next great meal can always lead to other fun ideas in a great city.
So How Does Capital One Dining Work?
In short, at least for now, this is a booking platform for the circa 350 restaurants that are a part of the launch, in the 11 launch cities. In other words, you won’t be able to book tables at restaurants that aren’t.
For restaurants that aren’t included in the curated city lists, you’d simply use whatever you currently use to find and book tables. Over time, it’ll be interesting to see how the list and functionality evolves, but for now the highly curated, 20-30 options in each city bit is kind of nice.
Personalization In Dining
The first time someone goes to use the Capital One Dining platform, either through their Capital One account on mobile, or desktop, they’ll confirm contact information and also be able to confirm any preferences, food allergies and key milestones, like a birthday or anniversary.
The app, powered in part in the backend by SevenRooms, will then help notify the restaurants of personal preferences and dietary requirements seamlessly, to smooth out as many elements as possible.
It’s unclear whether there are any added perks for Capital One Venture X premium card customers, but a betting person would expect that sort of functionality to come, if it’s not already a part of the experience. Here’s what Capital One has to say about the new Capital One Dining platform, which launches in early March.
“At Capital One, we know our customers are passionate about dining out with family and friends, whether it’s a twelve-course dinner at an award-winning restaurant or brunch at a hidden gem.
That’s why we’re excited to announce Capital One Dining, which offers our rewards cardholders access to a curated collection of restaurants that has been built with the help of some of the most trusted names in dining, including the legendary Chef José Andrés, the Michelin Guide, and the James Beard Foundation. This is just the beginning, and we’re excited to continue bringing our customers access to unforgettable culinary experiences.”Monica Weaver, Head of Branded Card Partnerships and Experiences at Capital One
Dining Competition Is Roasting
First it was Capital One and Resy, then American Express stepped in and bought that Platform help fuel its own global dining collection. Then Chase came in with Tock to power its own dining platform. Now, Capital One is back, with its latest iteration, and a huge new chef partnership to its name.
Dining is red hot right now among premium card issuers looking to add value to daily cardmember lives, and the end result should be fantastic for all cardmembers.
Capital One has strengthened recent partnerships with the Michelin Guide, James Beard Foundation and other leading culinary traditions and will continue to sponsor a variety of food festivals, with special access for members.
These cards are starting to get pretty tasty.