Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WaltzIn - With Your New Dining App Created In Venice

There are so many apps to choose from to make your life easier these days, that it sometimes feels like it makes it harder. Not so with the dining app WaltzIn, created in Venice by my friend Kristel Arabian and her business partner, Nick Smith.

Arabian has been working with food her entire life, from phenomenal cooking with her Armenian family, to the science of cooking working in labs, to working as a chef at local restaurants like Joe's and Bin 73. She then became a recruiter, finding chefs for private households and dining rooms across the country. When she met Smith, a Harvard finance guy, they put their heads together to learn about technology and restaurant culture from each other. From these pow wows came the idea for a new app called WaltzIn - which allows diners to waltz in to any restaurant on their roster and have a Chef's Table experience when they want it. Basically, with three clicks you can show up, be entertained and wowed by the city's top chefs, and stand up and leave without a bill (tip included), because you already pre-paid via the app. Bam.

WaltzIn allows the user to be shown the heart of the dining industry with performances by the kitchen staff designed to especially surprise and delight them. As Arabian told me, "It gives people the opportunity to participate in the dining culture, and learn from it. You're buying a ticket for a chef to be creative for you. Trust the person who wrote the menu and conceived the restaurant to give you a custom dining experience." Dishes just for me from places like our friends The Hart & The Hunter?! I'm definitely waltzing in for that.

It's great. You just look up what restaurant you've been dying to try from their list, click on the time and day you wish to go, pay the fixed price ahead of time, go to the place and let them dazzle you. You can fill in if it's a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, if there are dietary restrictions in the party, and the restaurant already knows you're a WaltzIn user, so you can expect special treatment (which could be a special appetizer, dessert, you never know. Or the chef might even just come to your table and ask what you're in the mood for that night, and go from there. There might be also be a preview of something not yet on the menu. Or perhaps you might even be sent home with special treats for breakfast the next day. It's all happened.). It's nice for the chefs as well, because it allows them to be creative and not bound by their pre-written menus. One chef shared that he wished every diner would WaltzIn ... it's just more fun for everyone.

Drinks are not included in the pre-paid price, because not everyone drinks. You'll pay for drinks separately that night if you'd like them. There are also sharing options on the app, so when you're planning that birthday dinner, everyone can know the cost and split it accordingly ahead of time, avoiding that nightmare of the group bill at the end. I installed this excellent app for that feature alone. Phew!

WaltzIn continues to add new restaurants all the time, like The Rose in Venice, who just came on board. New innovations are ever in the works, as they continue to refine and innovate this superb concept that turns an ordinary reservation into a personal chef's table dining experience that promises to be memorable. Congratulations to Kristel and Nick on an app that makes us all restaurant insiders!

WaltzIn today! - Find it on the App Store.

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