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Innovation & Job News

Cheftabl brings off-menu dining to the masses

Cheftabl is an online platform based in the District that gives diners off-menu experiences at some of the top restaurants in the city. The company was founded by Jill Richmond and launched in private beta last week. 
"I saw a need and a market for chefs and for restaurants," Richmond explains. "I ran a pop-up restaurant in D.C. and in London, and I thought, 'Let's bring this back into the chef's hands.'"
Diners who book reservations through Cheftabl choose from selected restaurants curated by Richmond. In return for 24 hours' notice, a credit card number and any dietary restrictions, they are rewarded with a five-course customized dining experience that Richmond calls "frictionless." The cost of the meal, including tip and gratuity, is charged to the credit card used when booking the experience, eliminating the need for the awkward "who gets the check" dance at the end of the meal.
The booking model gives chefs the freedom to "be creative in their own kitchen," Richmond says. "It also gives sommeliers a chance to show off different pairings."
"Our reservations are for tables of two or parties of four," Richmond explains. "People like feeling really attended to. In a city where it's difficult to discover something new, because [D.C. isn't] dense like New York, Cheftabl gives D.C. locals and diners a chance to discover D.C. [restaurants] and chefs in a different way. There is something incredibly valuable there."
Currently, Cheftabl is taking reservations for Bibiana, Azur and DGS Delicatessen, among others. Tables run between $75 and $100 per person. Richmond says she is adding more locations to cover a "good spread of price points" within the District. 
Invitations to Cheftabl's private beta can be requested on the company's website. Richmond is looking forward to bringing Cheftabl to New York in September and to additional cities in the future.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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