Save On Fine Dining With DineTonite.com
DineTonite offers parties of up to eight people savings on their bills in participating mid to high-end NYC restaurants. The quantum of savings depend on the total bill, determined by how much food and drinks are consumed – restauranteurs can also offer variable savings tailored to peak and off-peak periods, for example.
“We offer our restaurant partners access to an ever growing group of savvy patrons who enjoy meaningful savings and also appreciate fine dining,” said Mohammed Islam, founder and CEO of DineTonite. “Our dynamic business model allows restaurants to adjust their offered savings depending on the popularity of certain days and times, enabling them to greatly expand their customer base.” Participating restaurants are not charged for the service, but a nominal booking fee is charged to the DineTonite member per reservation regardless of the party size.
Islam says that his service is positioned differently from the current rage of “daily-deal” sites. “DineTonite is not a “daily deal” site that offers small dollar amount discounts if only certain customer numbers are reached,” said Islam. “By providing unlimited savings for patrons at DineTonite’s participating restaurants, we provide our members the flexibility to save as much as they desire.” He says his site is more than a reservations site such as OpenTable and focus more on savings than Yelp, which is review-centric. “While we are working with restaurants across multiple price points, we do focus on upper scale establishments and dining savvy customers. “With the constraints of the down economy, more people are finding a nice meal out to be a luxury they cannot afford,” he explains. “Our model helps make such excursions more viable by providing deep percentage discounts.”
DineTonite are focusing on adding new restaurants in New York City, and plan on expanding to five to seven other metropolitan areas only from next year. “We want quality restaurants to become DineTonite partners, and don’t want to compromise the value that customers receive,” Islam explains.
New York – Where Dreams Are Made
Mohammed Islam is a serial entrepreneur in his mid-50s and immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 1976. After working in various industries, he bought a franchise restaurant years ago, and later expanded into other restaurants and retail businesses. “I have always enjoyed working for myself and the many opportunities for success that one can find in New York,” he adds.
Islam saw the Internet as the transformative next frontier for business, and wanted to be a part of that revolution, which led to him starting DineTonite. He also owns a business that provides real-time financial services to mobile devices (www.PDATrade.com), and is involved in the online magazine AllMediaNY.
His views on entrepreneurship is simple – just do it. “If someone has a good idea with a defined marketplace, they really need to just go for it. The key is providing a real benefit and value to the consumer and any involved merchant. You do have to be comfortable with risks, both in terms of time and finances.”
Islam – who’s Muslim – says that he’s not encountered any discrimination at all during his work as an entrepreneur. “As long as my site is working well and everyone is benefiting, I don’t have any problems. I have met with many different restaurant owners throughout the city and elsewhere, and they have all been exceptionally friendly and eager to setup business arrangements.”
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.