I am in the process of starting a restaurant reservation service which will book tables in real time and on weekends. It will add users' names to the guest list which will reduce the wait time of the customer. I want to know how do I get seed money from VCs and how to find free research reports for people who order food online and book a table online in India.
May I recommend that you talk to some of the US companies already doing this idea?
For example... my company, Textaurant. :) Drop me an email and let's chat - we may be able to help you without you having to reinvent the wheel. - Josh
First of all, I'd recommend you register on Onstarups (answers.onstartups.com). It says you are unregistered. Bad for business ;)
Anyways, I am an Indian this business idea is nice but I have some questions for you, who are your target customers/audience? Are they only high end folks? I am saying this because I know a lot of restaurants in India that don't have online presence, it will be hard for you to convince them to let you book reservations. With that said, here's what I think you should do first.
Before doing anything, you should survey your first circle and your area and ask people if you think its a good idea. If you ask 20 people and 10 people like the idea, than this is a good sign. Once you do that, ask them what restaurants they like or regularly visit. Chances are, they dine at restaurants near their home.
Go to those restaurants, and tell them that people in your area think that THIS (your idea) is a good idea. Tell them how it'll benefit them. If you read responses to my question Talking to a head office (Which I am sure you didn't), you'll want to say stuff like, "We can get you in front of X number of Gen Y customers per week and in exchange..." (quoting Susan Jones).
Once you and one or if you are lucky, more restaurants agree to THIS (your idea), you'll have to develop a website where people can book a table. At first, this doesn't have to be an automatic script, you can simply have a form (Link mentioned goes to information regarding forms) asking for reservation date, customer's phone number and other information required. You can charge reservation fee before letting them submitting of the form.
Once they submit the form, you'll get an email about this and then you can call the restaurant and book the time, once all that is finished, let your customer's know.
As I said before this is manual system, over time you should get an automatic system as this is a hassle. Also, I am sure other answers might give you different ways to do all this (consider them!). I think this is the cheapest way for you to get started, there isn't a need to spend a lot of cash in this.
Once you develop relationships with restaurants and all THIS (your idea) goes on smoothly for 2-3 months, you need to spread your brand to other area. Goto other part of city/state, rinse and repeat.
Again, this is a great idea. If executed right, you have a really nice opportunity. For this, you don't need to get too much into internet. You can even not have the internet and do all this by phone.
Now, lets answer some of your questions.
You want to know how to get money from investors.
You want resources to see how many people online.
Thanks for your valuable feedback and I am a registered user now of your site.
Would like to inform you that I am in talks with poptates in India and they liked my idea but like you said they don't have access to internet so I have made a presentation to make them understand how this idea works, However i'd like to know whom should I approach for website development freelancers or small time web designing company.
I am not sure about how to form a company?? will a proprietary firm help me get funding from investors at a later stage or I need to form an LLP in India.
We act as the sales agent for Kernow Software who develop e-Restaurant, a customer and reservation management system for restaurants of every size, from small bistros to large restaurant chains. We currently have many happy customers all around the world who have successfully replaced their pen and paper diaries for a more modern, computerised system. In addition, an optional online reservation module is available to all customers, which means that diners can check a restaurant's availabilities and book a table, in real time, using a restaurant's website.
Our business model has previously been to sell e-Restaurant direct to the end-user (restaurant), but we are now beginning to set up relationships with a few resellers around the world. If you became a reseller of e-Restaurant you could make a profit on the software sale to the restaurant and also set up a website directory where you could charge your customers a monthly/annual fee for having a listing on your website. Using our solution, restaurants listed on your directory can have the option of, not only, taking online bookings via their own websites but can have the added bonus of having you take reservations on your website for them as well. Every reservation taken by you will automatically update their restaurant database in real time.
There are several sales model options available for becoming a reseller so if you would like more information just visit our website www.simplehospitality.co.uk or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org