Sosh, the recommendations app that helps find the best stuff to do in your city, is today launching a new branch of the service dedicated to restaurants. With the introduction of Sosh Concierge, the company will now give users same-day access to exclusive restaurants that are hard to book with on late notice, or perhaps that don't take reservations at all. Sosh already provides ticketing and payments solutions for many of their vendors, who provide non-restaurant activities like concerts, classes, etc. However, the restaurant market has been historically difficult to break into when it comes to disrupting inventory management. With Sosh Concierge, users can pre-pay for a dinner, usually a pre-selected menu of the best dishes, and simply arrive at the restaurant. Sosh's launch partners in San Francisco, including Rich Table, Tosca Cafe, AQ, Cotogna, and Ichi Sushi have a table saved only for Sosh customers, so users have the flexibility to choose the time they want and then just show up. Concierge is also tapping into exclusive bars who want to do tasting flights for potential customers, with launch partners like 15 Romolo, Rye, Alta CA, Bergerac, and Mosto (from Tacolicious). Recently, we've seen a lot of movement in the restaurant industry, with Resy launching just a week ago as a direct competitor to Sosh's new Concierge service. With Resy, you're buying a reservation at a hotspot for an extra $10 or $20 bucks, and then sitting down with the usual menu. With Sosh Concierge, the payment is handled from the moment you book the table, and there are no hidden fees or mark-ups. Everything costs exactly what it would in the restaurant. "While airlines or hotels are comfortable price discriminating, restaurants are often very personal reflections of a chef or restaurateur so they are not. We understand that a restaurant isn't simply trying to blindly maximize its profits, but is instead a hospitality business," said Sosh founder Rishi Mandal. "Companies that sell reservations so fundamentally misunderstand this." Sosh has always been focused on offering users an education on top of a delightful experience, and they're trying to bring that same idea to restaurants. Instead of picking out what you're going to have and mentally tabulating the bill through the evening, you can spend time learning about the food. And conversely, waiters and waitresses are no longer distracted by upselling, but can instead introduce the food in an engaging way. Sosh Concierge is launching today with availability in San Francisco, but New York is already in the works and then the Sosh team will move on to their other markets. Sosh recently launched the Sosh Marketplace, which allows vendors and artisans to set up their own activities and events and let Sosh handle the ticketing, marketing, distribution, etc. For now, that self-serve model won't extend to booking reservations at restaurants and hot bars, namely because Sosh wants to curate the experience with Concierge.
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