A soon-to-launch dining concept is set to give venue operators the opportunity to provide diners with the full restaurant experience at home.
Unlike traditional home-delivery services, Halo Dining will see restaurant staff set up a table, cook and serve a meal, then stick around for the clean up. Diners will choose the restaurant, select the menu and invite guests through an app.
For diners, the concept offers a more relaxed and personal dining experience, with premium food and service. For operators, the platform expands dining room capacity and broadens marketing exposure while increasing business opportunity and staff hours.
The Halo Dining app will give restaurants flexibility around menu design, with table-share, a la carte and tasting menus all on the list of possibilities. Menu items can be activated and deactivated according to availability and special menus can be uploaded for celebratory occasions such as New Year’s Eve.
The cost per head for a three-course meal and service is expected to average $150. The total number of guests per dinner will be limited to 10, meaning one cook or server can handle the reservation alone. While Halo Dining is in its pilot phase, restaurants are limited to providing one cook or server for each booking, however when the platform launches in full multiple servers will be able to be used.
The venture comes from Sydney-based catering veteran Tom Rutherford, who previously transformed the catering industry with The Truffle Company in the 1980s and 1990s.
“During nearly 40 years in the industry I’ve learned that people will forget what they saw, people will forget what they eat and drink, but people will never forget how it made them feel,” says Rutherford.
“It’s going to be hard to get bookings in restaurants with number limits on reservations and people will be hesitant to go to establishments with many people.
“When things eventually return to normal restaurants will still be able to offer this service in addition to what they normally offer. It’s easy money. Restaurants don’t have to worry about turning over the table in time to make the next booking.”
Selected restaurants will be invited to participate in Halo Dining’s free pilot program beginning in early September. National rollout is then expected by early October.