By: Amy Rosner By: Amy Rosner | June 16, 2022 | Food & Drink
While many associate Resy with impossible-to-get reservations, and the inevitable panic when trying to secure a seat at Carbone, they are harbingers of change in our country’s ever-so-prominent restaurant industry.
Passionate about making a difference, Resy’s The Women of Food campaign returns for a fourth year to honor the women who power restaurants.
Resy launched The Women of Food in 2018 to celebrate and illuminate women-led restaurants and to put attention to the systemic inequities for women pursuing careers in the restaurant industry, according to the release.
See Also: Emma Chamberlain And Craig's Just Dropped Your New Favorite Vegan Ice Cream
“The Women of Food is central to Resy’s mission, to be a platform that champions voices and issues important to the restaurant industry,” says Chandler Stroud, Resy’s Head of Marketing.
“Resy’s women-led restaurants will be at the forefront of everything we do – editorial guides, interviews, events – with the goal of driving diners to them and raising awareness of the gender gap that continues to persist.”
Hillary Sterling, Executive Chef of Ci Siamo in New York City, states, "While there is certainly still work to be done, it is inspiring to see so many talented female chefs and industry leaders recognized,"
"I've been fortunate to learn from tremendously talented female chefs, and now have the important role of mentoring the next generation of women in the kitchen."
We sat down with Vanessa Leitman, Head of Experiential, and the Resy team, to discuss how the platform is revolutionizing the industry one dish at a time.
Can you talk a bit about your women of food campaign?
VL: In 2018, when Resy debuted The Women of Food, the idea was to uplift, and celebrate the trailblazing female chefs and operators whose work, historically, has not received the same visibility as their male counterparts We’ve had the incredible honor of working with so many amazing women through this series since 2018, and there are so many more we want to highlight. This year, we got to tout some newer restaurants, like Ci Siamo in New York City and Boia De in Miami. It’s also important to us to showcase a diversity of cultural backgrounds and cuisines. We are excited to be back doing events in restaurants again. In 2020 and 2021, the majority of our experiential programming was outdoors, but for this series, we’re thrilled to be bringing it back indoors, where chefs get to invite diners into their spaces and create their magic within the restaurant walls. This year, our dinners will also highlight women working behind the scenes who make restaurants feel so special: female line cooks, servers, farmers, winemakers, and artisans will be celebrated through the menus of each dinner.
How is it raising awareness for under-represented women in the restaurant industry?
VL: Women in the restaurant industry have long been under-represented. There has been some advancement in recent years, but there is still so much work to be done to help close the gender gap. According to the National Restaurant Association, only 33% of independent restaurants are majority owned by women. And, in an industry survey, the James Beard Foundation found that only 30% of respondents in management positions were women. Now in its fourth year, the goal of The Women of Food is not only to celebrate and honor but to educate, raise awareness and provide a platform to share more stories and connect diners to female-led restaurants across the globe. Resy is a discovery platform, and this program helps diners discover – and support – female talent.
In that same vein, how does Resy shine a light on other minority groups in the space? On a broader scale, how is your platform enacting change both in New York City and beyond?
VL: Resy's editorial team, which was recently nominated for a James Beard Foundation media award, does a wonderful job of telling personal stories about individuals from a range of cultures and communities across the restaurant sector. One example is this month’s women-focused editorial takeover -- from essays to features to guides, female-forward content is taking over Resy.com for the duration of June. Other examples are Chinatown USA, a collection of stories that pays tribute to the people and diversity of cuisines within Chinatowns across the nation, and Resy’s Black-Owned collections, which guide diners toward black-owned and operated restaurants. In addition to the editorial team’s work with diverse creators, writers, and photographers, Resy original events are another way we showcase the breadth of perspectives and cuisines to diners.
How does Resy blur the lines between a traditional reservation service and a curated destination for all things food and culture? What differentiates your platform from others in the space?
VL: Resy sits at the intersection of passionate diners and the best restaurants. It is more than a utility, it is a discovery platform and curator of the best food events. This idea of being a destination, and a brand for people who love restaurants, has always been central to Resy’s identity and something that users really relate to. This extends to our Resy original events, which feature Resy chefs and restaurants in unique and unexpected formats. Our Resy events, from The Women of Food to The Resy Drive-Thru have proven to be hot tickets, from LA to Miami to London! It has become very clear – especially over these last few years – that people appreciate a great restaurant meal more than ever. It’s entertainment, it’s a passion point, and it’s our obsession.
The rest of the interview is attributed to the Resy Team.
What prompted you to partner with American Express? How are your brand values the same? How are they different? In other words, why is this a mutually beneficial partnership for both you and the consumer?
American Express and Resy were a perfect fit as the companies have shared values and similar business models. Both companies are passionate about restaurants, service, and hospitality. Like Amex, Resy has a similar, two-sided customer model: Resy has restaurant customers and Resy users; Amex has merchants and Card Members. This similar model - plus shared values - made it easy to align around a shared goal: to build the best restaurant and diner networks and connect them digitally; a win-win for both sets of customers. Diners benefit from Resy’s restaurant intel, the ability to book at the most in-demand restaurants, and Resy editorial and events. If you’re a Resy user plus an Amex Card Member, you benefit even more. The Amex acquisition gave Resy the opportunity to pursue its fundamentals (delivering world-class hospitality software, thrilling diners with access and amazing experiences at great restaurants, and imagining and building the future of restaurant technology) with greater scale and deeper resources.
Can you talk a bit about Global Dining Access? How does this fill a critical gap in the market?
Global Dining Access by Resy is a new benefit added to the American Express Platinum Card - and other premium American Express cards - last July when the Platinum card was refreshed. It gives Card Members special access to some of the world's most sought-after restaurants. The digital membership – brought to life through Resy – includes access to reservation slots at in-demand restaurants, Priority Notify for all Resy restaurants, invites to premium dining events and experiences, VIP diner status, and more. It’s like having a personal dining concierge, at your fingertips. Eligible Card Members can utilize the program’s benefits – exclusive tables, Priority Notify, event access – by putting their eligible American Express Card on file with a Resy account.
Since exclusive event invites are part of Global Dining Access membership, Resy created a major launch event last September: Platinum Coast. Platinum Coast was in New York - in September of 2021 we docked a 250-foot barge on the East River at The Water Club and built a restaurant on top of it. We brought in some of the best chefs in the world: Nancy Silverton, Stephanie Izard, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo, Kwame Onwuachi, and Michael Solomonov. More than 3,200 Amex Card Members dined on board during the 5-day experience.
Photography by: Meredith Jenks and Jordan Rise For Resy