American Express has announced today that they’ve signed an agreement to acquire Resy, which is the digital restaurant reservation booking and management platform.
Amex’s acquisition of Resy
American Express says that their acquisition of Resy builds on their growing suite of digital services that extend beyond traditional rewards and points, to provide card members access to more types of things.
For those of you not familiar with Resy, they’re a competitor to OpenTable. So if a restaurant isn’t bookable on OpenTable, it may very well be bookable with Resy. Resy works with 4,000 restaurants in 154 US cities and 10 countries, and seats more than 2.6 million diners per week.
Amex expects that this acquisition will be completed in the summer of 2019.
American Express’ SVP of Global Loyalty and Benefits had the following to say regarding this acquisition:
“Resy was created to both connect people who love dining out with new, notable and hard to get into restaurants across the globe, as well as help restaurants’ businesses grow and thrive. Similarly, American Express has strong relationships with premium dining partners and restaurants across the globe, and provides our Card Members with access to incredible dining experiences through our exclusive benefits and programs. We look forward to working with the Resy team to continue to grow the Resy digital platform, and develop new ways to further connect our Card Members and restaurant partners through unique access and experiences.”
Meanwhile Resy’s CEO had the following to say regarding the deal:
“American Express is a brand that we have admired and sought to partner with from our inception. There are myriad points of synergy between Resy and American Express that we look forward to pursuing together in the name of creating an end-to-end global dining platform that thrills both diners and restaurants alike. As it does today, Resy will continue to focus on delivering world-class hospitality software to our amazing restaurant partners, connecting diners to insider experiences, and reimagining the future of dining.”
Amex says that after the acquisition is complete, Resy will maintain much of the same management, and their current booking and management services will continue to be offered.
My take on Amex’s acquisition of Resy
Over the past few years we’ve seen credit card issuers get into a war of sorts when it comes to rewards points. We’re seeing bigger and bigger bonuses, and on some level it just won’t be sustainable to offer even more points.
So card issuers are increasingly looking for other ways to differentiate themselves. This can include access to experiences and other rewards.
While a credit card company taking over a dining booking platform may seem odd, I can see the logic of this. Amex will be able to work with Resy to offer cardmembers access to exclusive tables, and will also be able to better integrate the booking platform into their app, website, etc.
At the beginning of 2019 Capital One and Resy launched a partnership, which should give you a sense of what a credit card company could be trying to accomplish here. With this partnership, Capital One cardmembers had early access to off-menu week restaurants in various cities, and cardmembers also had access to extra reservations during peak times.
I think it’s safe to say that partnership is ending soon.
What do you make of Amex’s acquisition of Resy?