Talking tech since 2003

Do you struggle to get reservations for hot restaurants because your name is not Brad or Leo?  Or if you can get into Nobu or Le Cirque, do you get that 11:00 pm reservation?  Well, SIMPLENIGHT is hoping to change that.  The SIMPLENIGHT app, set to release this summer on iOS, Android and desktop, will give the average Joe their chance to gain access to those difficult-to-get reservations, along with a myriad of other services.

SIMPLENIGHT is a free travel and entertainment platform, where you can go to take care of all your reservations in one place, from flights to hotels to nightclubs to car reservations.  So instead of going to four or five different sites to plan an event or trip, SIMPLENIGHT is a one-stop-shop for all of your planning needs.

The idea came from Mark Halberstein, who got into the party promoting business about ten years ago after he was tired of getting turned away from doormen at nightclubs.

“I grew up at South Beach in Miami and at an early age was not getting into nightclubs, you know, getting attitude from the doorman and watched them letting in girls and watching them walk by me,” Halberstein said. “I decided I wanted to make sure I was always going to be taken care of, so I really learned about the industry.”

Halberstein started making connections and running nightclubs and bars down in Florida and said doors started to open.

“I would say I am doing an event at this place and hosting a party and there would be 300 people that show up, so the clubs started loving me, and it did a 180 [degree] in treatment and not only that, they started treating me amazing, they gave me my own areas, they started taking care of me more and more and more, and the relationships just kept growing,” he said.

Halberstein later moved to New York, where he started working for top event planners for celebrity corporate clientele.  There, he learned the business and started hosting every major nightclub from Marquee to Pink Elephant.  Halberstein said that he launched the concept for SIMPLENIGHT loosely in 2006 to the creator of Hotels.com, who helped him formulate the idea with the nightlife hook and pitch.

Halbertstein said that it’s these connections, combined with the ability to deliver a large group of customers to venues, which enable him to offer a service that no other website or app can.  Unlike Opentable.com, which Halberstein says has limitations, SIMPLENIGHT can get you that near-impossible reservation.

“So if you’re in Philly, you want to go to Barclay’s Prime or Buddakan on Saturday night at 9 o’clock, Opentable most likely is going to tell you there’s no reservations within two and half hours of your reservation time,” Halberstein said. “We offer a different type of service, we’re able to broker you into a 9:45 because we deliver larger business to these venues and these higher end brands and we cater to their strong suit, giving them what they need: large group reservations, room rentals, etc.  So if we want to send a 2 or 4-top, these restaurants are willing to work with us a little bit more.”

SIMPLENIGHT, which caters to larger group planning, is also available for individuals to book flights, hotels, and car reservations, along with the exclusive night club and restaurant reservations.  If you are planning a trip, the app also has a money collection and escrow platform, where you can collect money for your event.  Halberstein said that the SIMPLENIGHT is planning other large partnerships, which will give consumers even more opportunities.   He hopes that people planning a large event that use SIMPLENIGHT will like it so much that they will use it for their personal reservations.

I like the idea of this app, but I do wonder: if 100 people want a reservation at Nobu at 8:00 on Saturday night, will it be possible to fill that?  Obviously not.  I would have to believe that at some point they will have to start charging a fee to use this type of service, similar to American Express, to control demand.  Either way, I am looking forward to testing it out as I have been unsuccessfully trying to get a reservation at Vetri in Philadelphia…


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