Search

NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?


Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur

 

Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of LittleThings.com

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of Edmunds.com

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of Reputation.com

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

Monday
May162016

Greg Hong: Co-Founder & CEO of Reserve

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Greg is Reserve's CEO, Co-Founder and Board Director, responsible for setting and executing the vision for the company. Prior to starting Reserve, Greg was a small business consultant and the Director of Business Operations at true[X], where he ran their ad operations team from pre-revenue to $20 million.

How did you get into the Tech industry?

I came to tech from finance, and one of my first jobs was working at an ad tech company running their operations and helping them build a two-sided marketplace between advertisers and publishers. I helped the business grow from pre-revenue to $20 million, and it really whetted my entrepreneurial appetite. I then went into consulting, founding my own firm and helping small businesses figure out how to create operational efficiencies. I started Reserve because I wanted to bring my experience growing marketplaces and my work with small businesses to the hospitality space, helping restaurateurs focus on what they really care about — delivering great hospitality.

Any emerging industry trends?

The best new emerging technology companies offer key players in the hospitality industry –– like restaurants and hotels, for example –– the opportunity to be more efficient without losing the warmth and friendliness that make them so special and the experiences they deliver so unique.

Also, we now see technology converging to create a more seamless system with different components that can all talk to one another. Companies are bringing the entire reservation making, hotel booking or car hailing experience together with one click of a button, integrating the ability to get what you need on-demand with a seamless payment experience.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

I often say that the restaurant reservation process is so familiar that it’s easy to overlook the fact that it could be a lot better. We think that aspects of the reservation process should be intuitive and pain-free for everyone, for every reservation, and when we looked across the market there was a clear opportunity there. So we came out with Reserve for Restaurants, a new table management system that offers restaurants more control, enables better hospitality and creates aligned incentives. We also launched Reserve.com, a web destination for guests to discover great restaurants and instantly book reservations, because we want to make it easier on both sides - for restaurants and their guests.

Inspiration for Reserve, and your vision for it?

One night in late 2013, my friend Joe Marchese and I couldn’t get a table anywhere –– we were just looking for a delicious meal at a nice restaurant with some close friends. The complexity, annoyance and back and forth involved in the process of researching restaurants and searching for reservations seemed unnecessary. We kept asking ourselves why no one had come up with a one-stop-shop for that. We knew there had to be a better way and were determined to make it happen, deciding that the dining experience — from getting a reservation to paying the check — needed vast improvement for both diners and restaurants.

The vision for our business is still very much the same as it was on Day One. How can we build a platform the supports both the needs of restaurants and diners throughout the entire dining journey? That platform needs to support servers, hosts, GMs and reservationists, help them do their jobs more efficiently and facilitate a high-touch, hospitable experience for their guests. It also needs to offer diners one intuitive destination for discovering great restaurants, making reservations, paying the check and giving feedback.

What's next for Reserve in the near future?

Our focus is on building a full suite of tools, a reservation product, that will make a better experience for restaurants and diners alike. We recently took a big step in that direction, announcing our table management system, Reserve for Restaurants, and Reserve.com. We will continue to collaborate with chefs, owners, GMs, reservationists, hosts and servers as we guide our product forward. We’ll also be working with our partners to add additional Instant Booking availability to Reserve.com, as well as continuing to add restaurants that accept reservation requests via the Reserve app.

Overall, our plans are to continue to expand within our seven cities (bringing on more restaurants in each market), launch Reserve in more cities, bring Reserve to more people and build more functionality into Reserve.com and Reserve for Restaurants that our diners and our restaurant partners will love.

Your key initiatives for the success of Reserve?

A key decision I made early on was to make listening to feedback a cornerstone of our company culture. When we first started Reserve, I talked with a lot of potential partners who thought that the idea wouldn’t work and said they weren’t interested. I had to learn how to deal with getting turned down from the onset and how to turn each rejection into a learning experience. It can be difficult to stay positive but when you believe so much in an idea, you learn to look at the feedback as an essential part of the process. All the feedback we received helped us refine the idea for Reserve and learn how to best convey our vision and passion. Without any of the tough moments, we wouldn’t have landed where are now, offering a platform that some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world now stand behind.

Your most difficult moment at Reserve? (and what did you learn?)

Truthfully, the most difficult moment still is having enough time in the day. Leading a fast-growing company and managing a team at the same time are really two full-time jobs, neither of which can be compromised. One time management tactic I’ve adopted is setting aside email-only time and compressing my meeting schedule. I also believe strongly in empowering the rest of my incredible management team to make important decisions and push things forward.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

We want to make it better and easier for guests to find great restaurants, make reservations and have a great time dining out. Our technology should facilitate hospitality and shouldn’t stand in the way of a restaurant’s relationship with its guests. We also hope our tools allow our partners to run their restaurant the way they want. Our goal is to create a solution that restaurants and their guests love.

How do you motivate others?

I am lucky enough to work with a team of people who are fully invested in the work that Reserve is doing –– they all have passion and purpose for what they do, and because of that, our offices feel more like centers of collaboration rather than traditional workspaces. Our company is aligned behind a set of core values — we call them the “10 Things” — that guide how we work and what we’re striving towards. It’s also important that all employees, no matter their role, understand their value to the organization and how their work keeps the wheels on the bus. Consequently, there’s a lack of hierarchy in the offices, which allows us to more easily cultivate a sense of community. That openness is key to motivation. The unique company culture we work hard to foster helps us to grow and work together and motivates us as a team through any challenges that may arise.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Put yourselves in the shoes of the people you work with, and the people you want to work with — whether it be vendors, potential customers or even potential hires. They often know things you don’t, things you may not be able to understand unless you put yourself in the trenches of their business and witness their challenges firsthand. When you can aggregate all that information together, that’s really when you’ve hit on something special. I’ve learned a lot from conversations with our restaurant partners about hospitality and how to run a business, and my goal is to always listen to them and to our diners. It keeps me honest and grounded, and I always try to find something new to learn.

https://www.facebook.com/reserveapp

https://twitter.com/reserve