Landing a Job at Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com is the nation’s largest dining-deals site for consumers and marketing platform for restaurants. It offers discounts and special programs at over 18,500 restaurants across the United States.

Founded in 1999, the company is headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Most of its 205 employees work from that office; an additional outside sales staff of 20 works around the country.

The technology team is 20 strong and includes IT operations, database developers, and software engineers. Joel Karr, vice president of software engineering, said they’re currently looking for individuals whose focus is either mobile development or the business intelligence side of Web development.

“A mobile engineer at Restaurant.com should be excited about the latest trends in mobile development,” he said. “Candidates should have experience in iOS and Android development as well as mobile web best practices. In regard to business intelligence, we’re looking for experience with SQL, SSIS, ETL, and data warehousing.”

This team has the ability to directly impact growth by allowing its developers to focus on a variety of statements of work at any given time. “We have created a scalable and maintainable infrastructure using Microsoft Azure and many of the latest technologies,” Karr added. “Members of our development team have the ability to work on projects ranging from building APIs to consumer-facing websites that drive nearly five million unique visits per month.”

The Application Process

Typical buzzwords heard around the office include MVC, ASP.NET, Web API, Azure, E-commerce, Domain Driven Design and Service Oriented Architecture. If you don’t have experience with these, or aren’t at least familiar with some, this may not be the position for you.

Karr also noted that when a candidate applies for a job, his team wants to hear his or her professional goals. “We are always looking to improve,” he said. “We want people who fit that mold. We do not want anyone to come to us without a clear vision for what they want to achieve in their next career step.”

What Makes a Good Fit?

With 16 successful years in the marketplace, this is an established organization that is focused on delivering products in a predictable way. However, Karr noted, the environment still allows some flexibility for work/life balance. The company also maintains a business-casual environment with social events that may include lunchtime cookouts, bowling, and Fresh Fruit Fridays (see the above image for a representative example of fun time).

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Advice for Experienced Professionals

Skilled technologists who display their acumen across social networks will get noticed. Restaurant.com wants candidates who aren’t afraid to share their ideas on open-source projects, blogs, or active Twitter accounts.

Advice for New Graduates

The company is more interested in seeing new grads with passion than those with basic technical abilities. Karr said that a candidate with a current side project that illustrates that he or she is growing and using his or her skills in different ways will impress. He stressed that it’s important that his team be able to identify those potential hires who are ready to develop their knowledge base and aren’t afraid to try new things.

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Image: Restaurant.com/Facebook

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