OpenTable And Fishbowl Veterans Join DC Startup Venga’ Rebrands To My Loyal Family

Venga,DC Startup,startups,startup,Startup NewsBack in March we brought you the story of Washington DC startup Venga. Venga began as a more traditional restaurant discovery platform similar to the likes of Urban Spoon. While they were accelerating at The Fort in Washington DC they pivoted to a more restaurant centric focus.

During their customer discovery they went to restaurants and talked to the owners to see what they really needed in an app.

When founders Sam von Pollaro and Winston Lord took to the streets to talk with the restaurants themselves they found that while traditional restaurant discovery apps could provide spikes in traffic, they weren’t receptive to the restaurant themselves. Apps like Open Table weren’t talking to the restaurant point of sale systems so there was no way the restaurants could take advantage of the well procured background data on the users.
Venga, with the help of Fortify, embarked on a new product to create mobile centric loyalty programs for customers. Now surveying customers on exits, and even rewarding them isn’t new however working it all back into a mobile focused program to benefit the customer and the restaurant is. Venga now has a tool that helps restaurants keep track of customers, their likes and dislikes and their service experiences. The restaurant takes that information, along with order information and then they can send each customer more targeted offers via email rather than a generic email blast.

Venga had already started picking up traction with their new product and have found that it was a great space to be in. Venga is data driven and pulls from customers previous checks to create detailed profiles, letting restaurant owners and marketers know exactly what hits their customers buttons and what will bring them back in for more.
The company has started ramping up their staff and with that they’ve brought on Fishbowl’s former Regional VP of Sales, Bob McKay as Vice President of Sales. Michelle Baker has also joined Venga as an account executive. Her experience includes marketing positions with Fishbowl and Open Table.  They’ve also rebranded their consumer facing product as MyLoyalFamily.
“Bob and Michelle’s passion and demonstrated knowledge of the hospitality industry and its distinctive needs will be an invaluable asset to Venga as we continue to expand.”von Pollaro, said in a statement. “With Michael, we are getting one of the top software engineers in the area with expertise in scalability, which is critical in a business that collects and processes as much data as we do.”
Venga also beefed up their tech team by adding Michael Dumont as Lead Software Engineer.

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