About a decade ago, Ben Leventhal launched Resy
, a tech platform to enhance the restaurant experience for customers and for restaurateurs to reach new clients in an innovative way.
“Five years ago we set out to change the way the restaurant industry thinks about technology,” said Ben Leventhal, co-founder and CEO at Resy. “We have focused on delivering world-class hospitality software, thrilling diners with access and amazing experiences at great restaurants, and imagining and building the future of restaurant technology.”
Fast forward a few years later, and the marketplace has spoken: Yelp and OpenTable (acquired by Priceline in 2014 for the princely sum of $2.6 billion) are still doing their thing. Tock is a growing platform. But Resy carved out a niche in a competitive space and was acquired by American Express in 2019. The credit card giant successfully integrated Resy in their suite of products that enhance the customer experience.
Leventhal left Resy after guiding the company through the transition. Now, he is back at it, having launched a loyalty and membership platform for restaurants called Blackbird Labs. The company has raised $35 million in funding from top VCs such as Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and top restaurant groups.
“The restaurant business model is broken,” Leventhal told TechCrunch in October. “It can be really expensive to remain at the top of a sea of competition. Operational costs are also at an all-time high, and restaurants need revenue. There’s only two paths forward: creating new revenue streams or creating regulars who’ll want to come back.”
The HBS Club of New York is pleased to welcome Ben Leventhal to discuss the ins and outs of the restaurant business. He will share insights about his new platform and the lessons he has learned over the last two decades of entrepreneurship that now sees him on his third venture. Join us for this sure to be memorable conversation.
6:00 pm Check-In; Event from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
FOR SECURITY REASONS, NO WALK-INS ARE PERMITTED
Pre-registration is required and will close at Noon on Monday, February 26th, 2024.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
Ben Leventhal has spent the last 20 years imagining and building the future of hospitality technology. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Resy, the software and content company acquired by American Express in 2019. Twice under his leadership Resy was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies,” in 2017 and again in 2019. Previously, Ben co-founded and led Eater.com, the award-winning food and restaurant digital media company. An entrepreneur, strategist, investor and tastemaker, Ben continues to work with chefs, restaurant brands, hospitality companies and technology startups around the world. With Blackbird, Ben is excited to build the next great hospitality platform connecting restaurants and diners through the power of cutting-edge technology.
Lance Stuart, MBA 1978
CEO, FastXchange Inc
Lance Stuart is the CEO of FastXchange, a Los Angeles-based business that is the leader in providing outsourced procurement services to major U.S. aerospace and defense contractors. Previously, he was a Senior Partner at Vici Partners where he continues as a Senior Advisor. He has over 30 years of consulting and operating experience, principally in the U.S., Japan and China. Clients span industries from cosmetics and consumer electronics to software, chemicals, insurance, airlines. Department of Defense and telecoms. Lance has been an investor, co-founder, CEO, COO and board member of several companies in the U.S. and Asia. He began his career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York then transferred to Tokyo.
Lance earned a B.S. in economics and marketing, with honors, from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard Business School (MBA 1978), where he was awarded two academic scholarships. He was raised in Tokyo and is an active volunteer in several non-profit organizations including the Harvard Business School Club of NY, the Harvard Business School Association of Orange County and as a Council Member on the U.S.-Japan Council.