TouchBistro acquires TableUp to launch new loyalty solution for restaurants


Toronto-based TouchBistro has acquired TableUp, a Boston-based startup that provides loyalty and marketing solutions for the restaurant industry. The purchase price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

“Restaurateurs need an effective and affordable way to promote their restaurants.”

The deal will see TableUp’s technology integrated into TouchBistro’s upcoming loyalty and customer relationship management (CRM) product. The product will be rolled out in phases, with an initial version expected to be available in the North American market in the coming weeks.

Following the deal, TableUp’s team will join TouchBistro, but will continue working from Boston. Matt Zibell, founder and CEO of TableUp, will join TouchBistro’s product team, where he will be responsible for launching and supporting TouchBistro Loyalty.

“Now, more than ever, restaurateurs need an effective and affordable way to promote their restaurants to new and existing customers so they can bring them back again and again,” said Alex Barrotti, founder and CEO of TouchBistro. “Through our acquisition of TableUp, we can fully integrate these capabilities into the TouchBistro platform to help restaurants turn one-time customers into loyal patrons.”

TouchBistro already has a restaurant loyalty program that allows restaurants to take customer payments with gift cards or a mobile app and customers to collect and redeem points for discounts. That loyalty program was developed with a third party called ReUp, a loyalty analytics platform.

Barrotti told BetaKit the acquisition of TableUp will give TouchBistro a proprietary solution that can better integrate with TouchBistro’s platform and existing products. He added that having a wholly-owned loyalty program means TouchBistro will not have to share confidential data with a third party.

RELATED: TouchBistro furloughs 131 employees as restaurants hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic

The TableUp platform allows restaurants to increase customer engagement and reward guests for their loyalty. Restaurants can create unified customer profiles that feature insights on customer behaviour and spend across all channels, such as in-restaurant dining and online ordering for pickup or delivery. These can be used to drive customized campaigns using a built-in marketing solution.

“Like TableUp, TouchBistro is laser-focused on the restaurant industry and provides technology that helps restaurateurs maximize their revenue and deliver an exceptional guest experience,” said TableUp’s Zibell.

“This alignment, along with TouchBistro’s global market leadership and powerhouse team of restaurant industry veterans, represents a great opportunity to get the proprietary capabilities we’ve built into our guest retention solution into the hands of significantly more restaurants,” Zibell added.

TouchBistro said once the integration with TableUp is complete, restaurants will be able to deploy personalized campaigns through email marketing and in-app promotions, as well as offer reward program options to customers.

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The new TouchBistro Loyalty is aimed to give restaurateurs in-depth customer insights so they are able to drive more sales, and encourage repeat visits by implementing customer data-driven campaigns. The service also allows restaurants to promote their business using sophisticated CRM and marketing tools.

News of the acquisition follows a month after TouchBistro tapped John Doolittle to serve as chief financial officer. The startup was forced to furlough 23 percent of its workforce in April due to the impact of COVID-19 on its core customer base.

Barrotti told BetaKit since restaurants across North America have begun to reopen, TouchBistro has seen an uptick in transactions and revenue, and has been able to rehire 28 of the 131 furloughed workers.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Alex Holyoake.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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