American Express just announced a highly synergistic move with the plan to acquire Resy, a restaurant reservations service that has won favor with many diners. Resy features the fine dining segment and has a more limited stable of restaurants compared to Open Table, which is a popular service in its own right. This move is a perfect fit for Amex which many consumers use as their go-to card for paying a restaurant tab. The deal also gives Amex another potential loyalty play in the highly competitive credit card rewards landscape. This will be a way to engage customers via the booking service and the opportunity to gain access to some hard-to-get restaurant tables.
A Forbes article discusses more on this topic which is excerpted below.
American Express has announced plans to buy Resy, a digital restaurant reservation booking platform. The move is the latest by the financial issuer to expand beyond its traditional points loyalty program and provide its cardholders with value-added experiences, access, and services. The acquisition is expected to close over the summer, and follows similar deals by Amex to acquire airport lounge booking service LoungeBuddy and the Mezi travel assistance app.
Resy first launched in 2014 as a platform that allowed users to purchase reservations from restaurants instead of trying to book weeks or months in advance. It matched up avid diners with restaurants who found themselves with unoccupied tables. Since then, Resy has become more of a standard booking service, though it also began offering tools and capabilities for restaurants, including inventory management, ratings compilations, surveys, and analytics.
Resy now counts around 4,000 restaurants among its listings, and through partnerships with other platforms, it works with around 10,000 eateries worldwide. Those restaurants are primarily in the U.S., but include locations in Canada, Europe, the U.K. and Australia as well.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group