ChariTable Bookings is an app and website-based function that allows users to make restaurant bookings and donate a portion of the fee to a charity of their choice. The restaurant pays a £2 booking fee per person to ChariTable Bookings. The organisation then passes on £1 per diner to the charity that has been chosen by the person who made the booking.
Lord Fink, who funded the start up costs, told FN at the venture launch on September 8: “There is no cost to the diner and no cost to the charities, and if some of the largest ones asked their several thousand members to book through ChariTable Bookings, they could bring in significant extra revenue – for no extra cost.”
Fink said the charity sector had to embrace technology as people’s lives and finances became increasingly digitised.
He said: “It’s no longer about putting money in a tin. People, especially young people, don’t carry cash around with them any more or only a few pounds at the most.”
Fink said the idea for the app came when he saw how restaurants were happy to pay booking fees to access a wider client pool by using technology.
He said: “We decided that if we could create a relationships with restaurants and a large enough database, we would pass on at least £1 – or 50% of the revenue – to charities.”
More than 4,950 UK restaurants have signed up, so far.
Fink said he had encouraged large companies, including financial organisations, to use ChariTable Bookings as a default booking service. The organisation has created an incentivisation scheme for personal assistants and secretaries to use the service to make frequent bookings for colleagues.
Fink said: “If it is successful, I want to take it to the US. People eat out there more than they do in London. It could generate millions.”
Any booking made in October – to be used at any time outside of that month – will result in a £1.50 donation per diner being made to charity.