American Express is launching a mobile restaurant booking feature like OpenTable to court rich millennials — and it will include exclusive tables at Michelin-starred hot spots
- American Express is launching a new OpenTable-like feature for its Platinum cardholders that will allow them to book reservations at thousands of restaurants from their mobile phone.
- The service will cover a broad range of restaurants, including access to exclusive tables at Michelin-starred spots Amex partners with like Hakkasan.
- The reservation service launches in the UK for customers at the end of September, and it will roll out to the US and other regions over the course of 2019.
American Express is launching a new OpenTable-like feature for its Platinum cardholders that will allow them to book reservations at thousands of restaurants — including tables at Michelin-starred spots held exclusively for Amex customers — from their mobile phone.
The reservation service will go live to Platinum credit card customers in the UK at the end of September, and it will roll out to the US and other regions over the course of 2019, according to a company spokeswoman.
The new offering comes as American Express competes with JPMorgan and its Sapphire Reserve card to court young wealthy customers. American Express CEO Stephen Squeri said on a second-quarter earnings call that millennials represented a significant number of new Platinum cardholders.
It also builds on recent efforts by the card company to bolster its premium dining options for the high-end customers that have long been American Express' bread and butter.
Amex has for more than two decades offered restaurant booking — as well as for hotels and special events — through its Platinum Concierge service.
In 2017, Amex partnered with world-renowned chefs and restaurants around the globe to launch its Global Dining Collection.
The collection gives Amex Platinum and Centurion customers exclusive access to events and reservations at hundreds of top restaurants around the world, including Michelin-starred spots owned by the likes of Thomas Keller (Per Se), Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), and Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana).
The company's latest release will put many of these highly coveted restaurant bookings at customers' fingertips through the Amex mobile app, though it will offer a much broader range of restaurants as well, thanks to partnerships in the UK with restaurant booking services Seven Rooms and Bookatable.
In the UK, the customers will start out with access to 1,000 restaurants in London and 2,000 nationwide, including the likes of Hakkasan, Nobu, and Chiltern Firehouse, with more top restaurants to be added to the app over time.
"Our premium Cardmembers love to dine out, whether that’s discovering the hottest new restaurant in town or frequenting a trusty favorite. This is why for over 25 years we’ve enjoyed providing them access to restaurants and reservations across the globe through Platinum Concierge and now the Global Dining Collection," Josh McKay, vice president and general manager of Global Benefits and Services at Amex, said in a statement to Business Insider. "We’re excited to further support our Cardmembers dining experiences with the upcoming launch of the new digital reservation service in the Amex mobile app."
The digital booking service is an outgrowth of the firm's acquisition of Cake Technologies, a London-based dining services start-up that the credit card company bought in late 2017 for $13.3 million.
Cake, founded in 2015, offered bar and restaurant patrons an easy way to book tables, pay their bill, and split the tab among friends from the convenience of their phones.
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