Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis-based startup aims to take over restaurant reservation technology

DinnerWareW

Paul Katsch, seated, with Senica Gonzalez, left, and Derick Moncado check out RezKu, an online restaurant reservation system that Katsch created with his nephew, Theron Luhn. The cloud-based system runs off a web brower. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

Walk behind the host stand of any restaurant that uses OpenTable and more than likely you will see technology that seems very 1990s. OpenTable’s restaurant interface may need an innovation facelift.

Two years ago, Paul Katsch, a Davis entrepreneur, decided to do just that, and teamed up with his “technologically brilliant” 18-year-old nephew, Theron Luhn.

“At first we came out with an iPad application, but we quickly learned that most restaurants felt it was not the solution,” Katsch said. “The interface was small and hard to use in a busy restaurant. We then began where we should have started in the first place: talking to restaurant owners and asking them what they wanted in a reservation system.”

After getting input from hundreds of restaurant owners around the country and watching hosts seat thousands of guests, Katsch and Luhn went to work.

“The technology didn’t exist when we started this project,” Luhn said. “There were times we didn’t know if it was even possible to make our ideas come to life.”

The pair looked at companies like Google and Amazon for forward-thinking ideas.

“We noticed that technology leaders were going in a different direction than most companies and we decided to go along with them,” Luhn said.

So the team made a bold move and built Rezku, the first cloud-based reservation application that runs entirely off a web browser.

“If you look at what Google is doing, all of their software applications are browser-based,” says Senica Gonzalez, the project lead. “We are really pushing Google Chrome to its limits with our Javascript interface.”

Their product can be opened in any web browser regardless of where you are in the world.

“It’s the first of its kind,” Luhn said. “We are right on the edge of technology and innovation and we are having fun pushing ourselves to be even more creative.”

Their ideas haven’t stopped.

“We think we have some ideas that could attract customers to restaurants unlike anything currently out there,” Katsch said. “We are investigating if our new innovations are patentable.”

DinnerWire, the parent company of RezKu, is hiring new sales representatives nationwide as it launches the product. For more information, contact Katsch at pkatsch@rezku.com or 530-298-7219.

Special to The Enterprise

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