Restaurant Week: Eating on the House

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Picture this. You’re wanting to go out one night to a Chattanooga local restaurant with a wine special but you’re not sure where to begin your search. Google? No that will take too long, you think to yourself. You wish there was some sort of way you could look at all the deals in your area without putting in the effort. Guess what? There’s an app for that too. It’s called The House, founded by two local entrepreneurs, Matt Patterson, chief executive officer, and Matt Harb, chief operating officer, that aim to leverage supply and demand to benefit both restaurants and patrons.

Patterson and Harb are no strangers to Start-ups. They both used to work for the now blooming start-up, Bellhops, a moving services company. Patterson as the former COO and Harb as former Director of Operations, began brainstorming the Eat on the House app back when they left Bellhops last September.

“While crafting this idea of an app, I met with restaurateurs like Miguel Morales at ℹ️ 1885, Josh Carter at ℹ️ St. John’s, and Nathan Lindley at Il Primo,” says Patterson. “They helped me mold the idea from the point of view of a restaurant.”

With the app, which is available on IOS and Android, restaurants can send out real time offers to their consumer base to help fill their open availability. Restaurant owners and managers can put together an offer and post it live on the app in less than a minute. An example would be if Feed has 50 tables total, but 10 are wide open. They can take just those 10 tables and say ‘we’re doing half off wine’ to the next 10 people/parties that claim the offer on The House app. The duo initially rolled out the app at no charge to local restaurants, but now offer a monthly subscription fee.

Users of the app scroll down to see daily specials listed with photos of the restaurant or food. For example, offers on a Monday around lunch time included a $7 Neapolitan pizza from ℹ️ Fiamma Pizza Company, $3 half liters of beer at ℹ️ Brewhaus, and a $8 burger at ℹ️ Feed Table & Tavern. App users can claim a table for their entire party, and everyone in the party gets the exclusive offer. The app also allows users to view the restaurant’s menu and website.

“The House is an exclusive offer platform that gives the restaurant an agile way to optimize and fill their availability without having to create a ‘happy hour’ that applies to everyone that walks in the door and it gives the consumer great exclusive offers at their favorite places in town,” says Patterson. “Also, we’re only working with locally owned, really great brands in town like Feed, ℹ️ Chattanooga Brewing Company, and FoodWorks.

The end result is that restaurants draw in customers during otherwise slow times, while consumers get special offers and assurance that they don’t have to wait for a table—which should make deciding where to eat easier.

The House app has been live for about two and a half months now, and features about 40 restaurants with over 5,000 users. Apart from offering exclusive offers and daily specials, the app also features events, such as live music.

The app is based on time and location, so exclusive offers are based on open availability which means you won’t have to wait on a table. Also, with restaurants that offer reservations, you can redeem the exclusive offer and set your reservation at the same time. With just a click of a button, The House will call and set the reservation for you.

As the app continues to grow, Patterson and Harb would like to have a “Neighborhood” feature so that consumers can pinpoint the area of town they’d like to have a meal or drinks. For instance, if a consumer wanted to have dinner in Northshore.

To market the app, Patterson relies heavily on word of mouth. He also visits local Chattanooga businesses to get employees to download the app and gives prizes for those that refer friends to the app. The House office is located in the Lamp Post Group building, a venture incubator that provides both capital and mentorship to growing startups, right in the heart of the innovation district.

Although the entrepreneurs have launched the app in Chattanooga, the duo hopes to expand their unique product nationwide, beginning with Birmingham and Nashville.

How the app works:
1. Download the App by searching your app store for ‘Eat on the House’
2. See daily exclusive offers as well as happy hours and specials.
3. Choose where you want to go. If it’s an exclusive offer, reserve your offer before it expires. If it’s a daily special, just show up and enjoy.
4. Show the redemption screen to your server.

Want to know what’s going on tonight? Download The House app to be in the know on the best specials, happy hours and exclusive offers from your favorite spots in town. Please visit eatonthehouse. com for more information or for the download link.

Photography contributed by The House

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Brittney is the Digital Asset Manager of Chattanooga Magazine.

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