Going out to eat was always for a special occasion in Lauren Kluth’s family. She loved sitting at a table laughing and chatting. “It instilled an excitement in me every time we would go out,” she says. So in 2014, the John Carroll University graduate started CLEseats, a website and mobile app that helps Clevelanders find restaurants by selecting a neighborhood, price range and food type. CLEseats partners with more than 30 restaurants to offer exclusive deals for users, including $10 off at Noosa Bistro and $5 sake at Roxu. We caught up with Kluth to learn more about her food-finding company.
What made you want to start CLESeats?
Cleveland changed so quickly while I was living in Chicago for two years. I would come home to visit, plan a girls’ night out and I would try to hit all these new restaurants and neighborhoods that were popular. I’d try to Google them, and I discovered that there wasn’t a platform that listed all the restaurants in certain areas with their menu, specials and happy hours. I describe CLEseats as a Yelp meets Groupon meets Open Table for Cleveland restaurants. It’s like a one-stop-shop for the Clevelander.
What kind of deals can you get?
Each restaurant will offer some kind of exclusive deal or discount for our users only, typically between 15 to 20 percent off. So for example, Fahrenheit in Tremont offers buy two cocktails or glasses of wine, and you’ll get a free margherita pizza. All the user has to do is show the waiter the app to get the discount when they get their bill.
What’s your favorite fast food?
It’s sick, but Taco Bell. It’s the only fast food place that I’ll ever eat. I’m so embarrassed about it, but it’s so good. I haven’t eaten McDonald’s or Burger King in years — they freak me out. You would think Taco Bell would even more, but I don’t know why it doesn’t. cleseats.com