You would be forgiven for rolling your eyes when you first hear of Allset. The reservations app, which today announced it had raised $5M in Series A funding (hat tip: TechCrunch), wants to make the dining experience more “efficient” by letting you reserve a table, order and pay all before you even take your seat.
At first, this seems like yet another case of Silicon Valley trying to disrupt something that was actually just fine, thank you very much. After all, a restaurant is more than just food. It’s the ambiance, the slowing down for a minute to enjoy a meal.
But that’s not always the case, especially when you are busy and need to maximize your lunch hour. Being seated and served in rapid, automatic succession is actually a great time saver. Or if you are having a lunch meeting, the ability to pre-order and pre-pay makes can take some of the social awkwardness out of the process and allow you to be more productive.
And Allset believes it isn’t just good for diners, the company says it can be a boon to restaurants, helping them become more efficient and deliver a VIP experience. In this regard the startup is just one of a slew of services looking to optimize restaurant processes and the business of eating out.
Speaking of business, Allset also provides a service that allows companies to offer faster restaurant lunch experiences for employees. Having worked a startup that had catered lunches every day, the ability to actually leave the office in a timely manner (and experience actual sunlight) would have been a great perk.
And just as Facebook has expanded its foray into food delivery, and AirBnB lets guests book reservations via Resy, perhaps it’s not that much of a stretch to imagine a more business-focused social platform such as Linkedin expanding into the business of business lunches through some kind of partnership with Allset.
Allset is available in San Francisco and the Bay Area, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Austin, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Jose. Greycroft led the funding round announced today. Founded in 2015, Allset has raised more than $8.35 million in total funding so far.