How Resy Thrives by Staying True to its Brand
Elisabeth Brier and Allison Chesky

Since eating has persisted as society’s favorite hobby since the dawn of time, it’s no surprise an immense amount of food related startups have come into existence.

However as most of us are more “bone apple tea” than Barefoot Contessa, it is reservation based dining startups that are most successful.

One such company, Resy, competes in this saturated market and thrives while doing so.

Allison Chesky, Resy's Managing Editor of Content spoke to TechDay to discuss how the company has been able to rise above the noise by being true to its brand.

In crafting communication for Resy, how do you emphasize the company's differences from mainstream competitors like OpenTable and Yelp?

Our communication strategy isn’t focused on being unlike another brand, so much as it’s focused on being true to our own brand image. At the core, we maintain totally different philosophies – Resy is inherently a curated platform, whose goal is to partner with restaurants and provide them with innovative solutions. So, I think that comes through in our communications strategy, too.

Beyond offering a different experience, how do you get Resy to rise above the noise through company voice and general tone?

It starts with the brand vision. Part of what makes Resy so effortless to use is that our brand is discernible in any market– as a user, there’s a certain expectation of quality (and charm!) with a Resy restaurant. Our messaging is just a small extension of that. We maintain a tone that’s informative, provides context, and is clever and concise—but the real key lies in the product.

What specific value has come from your blog? How is it utilized to attain new users/ foster brand visibility/ create legitimacy?

Our blog serves a few purposes, primarily to engage our users and provide a tool for discovery.

At Resy, we are obsessed with restaurants, chefs, and hospitality. As such, while we frequently feature Resy partners on the blog, you will also see us highlight chefs and restaurants who do not use Resy, but whose work we respect. It’s a testament to our devotion to the industry, and our part in it. I suspect it’s a little-known fact that so many Resy employees have worked in the restaurant industry and are deeply knowledgeable about hospitality and F&B.

Beyond that, our coverage may also represent what we’ve observed in our data or where our users have expressed interest – whether that’s surrounding a highly-anticipated new opening or aimed at revealing the inner workings of a storied favorite. I hope that by reading about a restaurant or chef we’ve highlighted, a diner can discover something entirely new or a newfound appreciation.

To what extent has social media played a role in growing Resy?

Social media is such a wonderful tool—not just for discovery or visibility, but also for receiving real-time feedback. It’s another resource to help us understand what our users want to see more or less of.

Furthermore, we may only have so much space to share our partners’ compelling stories in an email or on the blog, but social media affords us endless real estate to share little-known back stories, highlight new restaurants, and offer a glimpse into our world.

What other content/editorial strategies have functioned to spread awareness and get more downloads?

Email has been a great tool for us, because we are able to harness data and offer insightful and specialized content to our users.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs trying to compete in an industry where prominent competitors exist?

Be true to your brand and listen to what your users are telling you. There are meaningful insights in the feedback.

What's next for Resy?

We are really excited about our integration with Airbnb, which launched in its initial phase on 9/20. Expect us to expand the partnership in various ways over the coming months. Next week, Resy officially launches in Portland, which we're thrilled to report. By the end of the year we'll be expanding to several International cities, too. With regard to marketing and
communications, we continue to work on tuning our email channel and are always playing around with new formats and targeting