Legal: Citispoon LLC
Location: Chicago, IL
Founder(s): Dapo Kolawole and Ola Kolawole
Social Media: 393 followers on Facebook, 293 followers on Instagram, 109 followers on Twitter, 51 followers on LinkedIn
Industry: Hospitality SaaS
Projections: $60.36B at a CAGR of 9% from 2019 to 2023 (Business Wire)
Chicago-based Citispoon helps customers by giving them smart dining suggestions while assisting restaurants in leveraging location-based intelligence to drive traffic. A dining app with personalized answers to the question, “Where do we eat now,” Citispoon leverages its proprietary algorithm to understand diners’ taste buds and recommend closest restaurants available with the least wait-times. It also helps local restaurants remain competitive by strategically placing advertisements using location-based analytics and real-world customer behavior data to increase conversions.
Citispoon is a mobile-based Software as a Solution (SaaS) subscription platform that allows restaurants to update real-time information about their current wait-times to potential customers. By setting clear expectations on wait-times, the platform helps restaurants reduce patron walk-away and improve the dining experience.
Through the platform, restaurants gain data-driven insights about customers, their taste preferences, and real-world behavior. Such information aids restaurants to understand, interact, and engage with their customers better and build long-term relationships. The platform also provides location-based data analytics to restaurants to enhance the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Leveraging its proprietary algorithm, Citispoon strategically places digital advertisements to target the right group of customers for the restaurant. Citispoon adopts location-based data to leverage existing Global Information Systems (GIS) to enhance the reach of the restaurants by showing ads to people who are most likely to convert.
Citispoon brings the logic of the Waze app to dining. The app uses machine learning to understand diner preferences and taste buds and matches it with wait-times at restaurants. Diners receive personal recommendations of restaurants where they are most likely to enjoy the experience without having to wait too long. The app personalizes the search for good food, helps diners make quick decisions about where to eat, and improves the overall dining experience.
Focusing on the fundamentally broken aspect of dining experiences, the wait times, Citispoon resolves the pain of choosing restaurants without knowing how long a wait it will be to get a table. With a mission to help patrons save valuable time, the app is designed to inform them of the potential wait-time before leaving for the restaurant, thereby allowing customers to spend time on what matters instead of waiting for a table.
Origin and Founding Team
Citispoon was founded in 2014 in Iowa by Dapo Kolawole and Ola Kolawole. The concept originated from a ‘hangry’ experience the founders encountered one evening in Davenport, Iowa. Both of them being ardent food-lovers craved to taste something new but ended up receiving one-hour waits at several restaurants instead. Exhausted from the overall experience during that meal, they conceived the idea for Citispoon with an intent to revolutionize the app-to-table dining experience for food connoisseurs everywhere.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Dapo Kolawole was a lead product design engineer. Passionate about engineering, Dapo Kolawale endeavors to find opportunities to introduce product design engineering to young minority engineers. Ola Kolawale was a family physician before beginning her entrepreneurial journey with Citispoon.
The founders believe that long waitlists tend to ruin dining experiences immensely. Waiting in line in crowded lobbies or walking from one restaurant to another, hoping to be seated, eats into diner’s quality time. With a vision to transform dining experiences, Citispoon was conceptualized to help restaurants remain competitive while also improving the customer’s overall experience.
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