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Updated May 26 @ 10:26AM
 

Dinova redefines corporate dining expenditures

Johns Creek company finds cozy niche saving clients money

HATCHER HURD/Herald
Vic Macchio, Dinova’s founder and CEO, has developed a company that marries restaurant partners with a way to tap into the multi-billion-dollar business entertainment market that is a win-win for all.
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Dinova, Inc. provides proprietary marketplace focused on connecting business diners to restaurants. It caters to corporations and small businesses. Dinova, Inc. was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Johns Creek, Georgia.

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – How many executives dream of taking what they’ve learned in the corporate world and creating an entirely new marketing plan that makes customers and clients happy? Vic Macchio, founder and CEO of Dinova, has done just that.

Macchio has worked in the travel industry since 1980 and devoted 17 years with American Express. He has used the experience he has gained in such diverse fields as consumer marketing, supplier relations, corporate services and general management to tap into what has grown in eight short years to be a $6 billion proprietary business.

What do almost all Fortune 500 corporations have in common? They spend a fortune on travel. Macchio lasered in on a way to tap into the business travel market to provide that proprietary service to his clients that saves them money.

The world of corporate dining is Macchio’s oyster. To crack that shell he had to come up with a perfect plan to capture the millions of transactions that businesses generate through travel.

Right of the top are hotels and transportation. Those are limited markets in hotels, airlines and car rentals and are well covered already.

But what other needs exist for the salesmen, executives, technicians who travel all over the world for their companies?

Fella’s gotta eat, right? Gals too.

“What we do is provide dining options for those people on the road that allow them to eat well while leveraging the buying power those meals generate for our client corporations in the form of rebates,” Macchio said.

Restaurants are willing to provide those rebates to get a disproportionate share of the market, he said.

So Dinova has a discrete group of restaurants all over the country who are in the Dinova network. When a company credit card is used, the rebate is applied to that bill automatically.

“We knew people on the road were not going to carry coupon books or keep track of a member card. So the key is making the transaction at the point of sale,” Macchio said. “Dinova is the catalyst that brings the customer to the restaurant.

“And we have a global roster of client corporations to offer to our restaurant partners. So they have exclusive access to our clients. And each corporate office will make sure their people know it is in their interest to eat at restaurants on the preferred list.”

The rebates are only offered through the Dinova software. What the restaurants get are a high degree of exclusivity in their market. Dinova sets geographic boundaries and then signs up no more than two “cuisine types” for corporate clients to choose from.

“The restaurant partners know they only pay rebates to the customers Dinova has brought to them,” Macchio said. “It is a very transparent system that benefits everybody.”

So a Fortune 500 member corporation’s exec in Atlanta could take his client to a fine dinner at Ruth’s Chris’s Steakhouse or to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.

But only Del Frisco’s earns the rebate so Del Frisco’s it is.

Currently, the global roster of Dinova restaurants tops 15,000 and runs the gamut of cuisines and price.

“We provide a ready-made network for their employees to choose from. And it is not just the high-end places. Often it’s the guy in a strange town who wants a reliable place close by to get lunch.

“With our app, he gets directions right to the door,” Macchio said. “The restaurant partner gets a guest they would not have gotten without being a Dinova partner.

“The guy from out of town gets a good meal and the corporation gets a rebate on the meal. Everybody wins.”

Whether it is selecting a fine dining restaurant to impress a client or just a place to get a good pastrami sandwich between sales calls, employees can easily stay within the Dinova family.

“The company has a vested interest in encouraging and promoting the use of the Dinova network. It saves them cash dollars,” Macchio said.

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