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OpenTable Announces Alerts for Highly-Sought Reservations

OpenTable Announces Alerts for Highly-Sought Reservations


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If you live in these select cities, you can join the pilot program that sends mobile alerts for open reservations

Diners in New York, Houston, and Los Angeles can sign up for Hot Tables alerts by emailing OpenTable.

OpenTable, the company that allows restaurant-goers to make real-time reservations online, has announced the Hot Tables pilot program, a mobile alert system that notifies you when a reservation at your favorite restaurant becomes available. The program is currently only available to diners in New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, and you need to request an invite by emailing OpenTable.

Lucky diners in these three cities can use the mobile program by setting alerts for their desired date, time, and party size at a particular restaurant. If one of these highly coveted tables suddenly becomes available, diners will be notified by text message of the availability.

However, an alert does not guarantee a reservation, so it’s up to the most nimble-fingered diner to grab the opening. If you think you’re up for the Hot Tables hunger games, request an invitation to the pilot program.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.


Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just in time for Valentine's Day, OpenTable, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPEN) ( www.opentable.com), a leading provider of free online restaurant reservations for diners and guest management solutions for restaurants, today announced the 50 winners of its Diners' Choice Awards for Most Romantic Restaurants. The list of winners is derived from more than seven million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

French and Italian cuisines are normally closely associated with romance, but in this year's most romantic list home is where the heart is. American cuisine steals the show with 14 restaurants serving domestic fare around the nation earning high marks in the romantic category. Like last year, chocolate and cheese continue to please couples, with 12 fondue restaurants making the list.

From a regional standpoint, California restaurants cornered the market on romance with 10 restaurants earning top spots. Also noteworthy, New York came in second with four wins and Virginia proves it's still for lovers with three wins, a distinction shared by Indiana and Ohio.

"There's no single recipe for romance when you're dining out," said Caroline Potter, OpenTable's Chief Dining Officer. "This year's results jettison the myths that only certain cuisines – or cities – can be perceived as romantic. Of course, the fact that fondue continues to melt hearts shouldn't be shocking as sharing adds an element of fun and flirtation to any food!"


Reserve a Spot at the Bar: OpenTable Welcomes Bars and Wineries to Its Platform

San Francisco, CA ( RestaurantNews.com ) Bars and wineries face new challenges as they prepare to welcome back patrons in a COVID-19 world. Carefully managing crowds, minimizing lines and communicating safety measures are the new norm. To help, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is offering its reservation technology to all drink-focused destinations.

As venues reopen, OpenTable users can discover and book a great spot to enjoy a drink. Guests can also join a virtual waitlist and receive phone alerts when their reservation is ready. At participating wineries, OpenTable offers the option to prepay for tastings for a contactless payment experience.

“Bars and wineries must operate differently as they reopen. OpenTable is here to help with software to accept reservations, manage capacity, attract guests, and maximize revenues,” said Andrea Johnston, COO of OpenTable. “People can visit their favorite places to socialize without waiting in lines or worrying about crowds.”

While select bars and wineries offering food have previously been on the platform, OpenTable is now available for all drinking establishments globally. The Roosevelt Room, Austin Eastciders and Bouldin Acres in Austin, Kind Regards and Flatiron Room in New York City and En Garde Winery and De La Montanya Winery in Sonoma are among the first OpenTable partners to enable reservations in preparation for reopening.

“We will undoubtedly make modifications to our bar’s layout, limit the size of parties seated in our booths, and more to help ensure our guests’ safety when we are ready to reopen,” said Justin Lavenue, co-owner and operator of The Roosevelt Room. “These measures will also affect the way we take reservations, and as a high-volume establishment, OpenTable is helping us adapt as we transition into this new chapter.”

OpenTable will also extend its Open Door program pricing, announced last month, which includes waived fees and discounted pricing, to bars and wineries (terms and conditions apply). For more information or to sign up your location, head to https://restaurant.opentable.com/wineries-bars/.

About OpenTable

OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, with nearly 60,000 restaurants globally using its software to seat over 134 million diners monthly. OpenTable helps diners discover and book the perfect table and helps restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back.


As Urbanspoon Beefs Up Rezbook, Is OpenTable in Trouble?

If you’ve ever made a restaurant reservation online, you’ve used OpenTable. Founded in 1998, the company has long had a lock on the market, with no viable competition. But with the recent growth of Rezbook, Urbanspoon‘s rival online booking service, that’s changing. For the first time, OpenTable is feeling the heat.

Urbanspoon, which today announced the launch of a revamped version of its popular restaurant-finding app, has also been beefing up its online reservation service. Rezbook has been available since April 2010 to diners in Seattle, but in the last year it’s expanded to Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. It now serves 1,300 restaurants—a fraction of OpenTable’s 25,000—but it’s growing fast: Kara Nortman, Urbanspoon’s general manager, says Rezbook’s customer base grew 700 percent in the last year.

More significant than Rezbook’s numbers, perhaps, are the restaurants using it, including some of the hottest places in the cities where it operates: State Bird Provisions and Locanda in San Francisco, and Birreria (inside Eataly) in New York. (New York’s RedFarm is also using Rezbook internally for table management and waitlisting, though—since it has a walk-in-only policy—not for reservations.) They also include more established restaurants that have defected from OpenTable. A year and a half ago, the owner of San Francisco’s Incanto, Mark Pastore, wrote a now-famous essay questioning the value of OpenTable. Guess what Incanto now uses for online reservations?

The services come with pretty similar costs. OpenTable charges restaurants $199 a month for its software and hardware, plus a transaction fee for each reservation to the tune of $1 per person for reservations through OpenTable and 25 cents for reservations made through a restaurant’s own website. That parallels Rezbook’s $1-per-diner charge, a $200 monthly fee, and a subsidized iPad to run the system on (if a restaurant wants to buy its own iPad, the cost is $2 per reservation and no monthly fee).

But there’s one big cost difference that appeals to owners like Pastore: Rezbook doesn’t charge a penny for reservations made through a restaurant’s own website, only the reservations it drives to that restaurant through Urbanspoon. “We are fundamentally about discovery,” Nortman explains. She says that’s the core of what made Urbanspoon popular in the first place.

Then there’s the factor of Rezbook’s accessibility. Since it’s cloud-based, restaurant owners can view and modify their reservation info from anywhere they happen to be, on smartphones or tablets. “I really don’t mean to denigrate OpenTable,” Mark Pastore says, “they were real pioneers. But it requires dedicated hardware, and Rezbook runs on an iPad that you can run five other applications on at your host desk.” Pastore notes that customers just like coming in and seeing an iPad. “There is a sexiness to it.” Plus it has the advantages of an old-fashioned paper reservation book, since hosts can carry it around the restaurant.

But don’t think OpenTable is resting on its laurels. Ann Shepherd, the company’s senior vice president of marketing, says an iPad version of OpenTable is already on the way. It’s also working on a remote-access solution to make it easier for restaurant owners to use the system from anywhere.

Despite Rezbook’s growing market share, Nortman says the company’s business plan isn’t focused on picking off OpenTable’s customers. It’s instead working with the estimated 60,000 to 100,000 restaurants still using paper reservation books (the majority of its new customers) and moving them over to digital.

But other online reservations start-ups are more aggressive about poaching from the competition. Boston restaurateur Jeffrey Gates recently announced the launch of UReserv. He talked about his motivation with the Boston Globe: “UReserv was born from me wanting to take all my websites and Facebook pages away from OpenTable.” With OpenTable poised to launch updates to its service, this is a fight that’s just heating up.


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Google Maps App Adds OpenTable Restaurant Reservations

The mobile version of Google Maps is morphing from a navigation tool into a sophisticated remote control.

The Maps app is integrating OpenTable's restaurant reservation service as well as getting a new look, Google announced on Wednesday.

In addition to providing turn-by-turn directions, business reviews, and photos, the new Maps lets users book a table for dinner without leaving the app. Previously the app offered a link to Open Table, but the new version saves users the step of clicking through to OpenTable's mobile web site.

The OpenTable integration is similar to what Google has done with car-hailing service Uber. The Maps app previously included a link to Uber's mobile app, offering users an alternative to public transit. Now, in addition to launching Uber, it shows how long it would take for an Uber car to arrive as well as the estimated drive time and fare to reach a given destination. (Google's venture arm has a large investment in Uber.)

"The best way to monetize Maps is to integrate commerce directly," says Scott Jacobson, Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group. "The more Google can demonstrate that the [user's] intent expressed through search or Maps is then fulfilled through an offline transaction, the more they can prove they are delivering value to a car service, restaurant, whomever."


OpenTable Starts Taking Reservations for Wineries and Bars

Bars and wineries face new challenges as they prepare to welcome back patrons in a COVID-19 world. Carefully managing crowds, minimizing lines and communicating safety measures are the new norm. To help, OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings Inc., is offering its reservation technology to all drink-focused destinations.

As venues reopen, OpenTable users can discover and book a great spot to enjoy a drink. Guests can also join a virtual waitlist and receive phone alerts when their reservation is ready. At participating wineries, OpenTable offers the option to prepay for tastings for a contactless payment experience.

"Bars and wineries must operate differently as they reopen. OpenTable is here to help with software to accept reservations, manage capacity, attract guests, and maximize revenues," saysAndrea Johnston, COO of OpenTable. "People can visit their favorite places to socialize without waiting in lines or worrying about crowds."

While select bars and wineries offering food have previously been on the platform, OpenTable is now available for all drinking establishments globally. The Roosevelt Room, Austin Eastciders and Bouldin Acres in Austin, Kind Regards and Flatiron Room in New York City and En Garde Winery and De La Montanya Winery in Sonoma are among the first OpenTable partners to enable reservations in preparation for reopening.

"We will undoubtedly make modifications to our bar's layout, limit the size of parties seated in our booths, and more to help ensure our guests' safety when we are ready to reopen," adds Justin Lavenue, co-owner and operator of The Roosevelt Room. "These measures will also affect the way we take reservations, and as a high-volume establishment, OpenTable is helping us adapt as we transition into this new chapter."


Investor Relations

NEW YORK , Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Phaidon, leading publisher of the creative arts, today announced that it has partnered with OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations to bring two books to life - Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs' Favorite Restaurants and the forthcoming Signature Dishes That Matter. The multi-faceted partnership includes a digital experience and an in-restaurant dinner series.

Where Chefs Eat Online Experience
Who better to recommend a restaurant than a chef? Inspired by Phaidon's bestselling guide, Where Chefs Eat ( $35 USD ), diners will now be able to reserve tables and dine at restaurants selected by the world's best chefs on 4 continents, across 8 countries and 26 cities only on OpenTable. Where Chefs Eat is the true insider's guide to the best places to eat around the world, from breakfast spots to high-end restaurants. The 352 restaurant guide includes favorites from Tokyo to Los Angeles , Mexico City to Berlin , and New York to Hong Kong , and is now fully accessible on OpenTable. To experience the guide, read reviews and tips, and book your next dining experience, visit: https://www.opentable.com/lists/where-chefs-eat.

The Signature Dishes Dinner Series
On October 23 Phaidon will publish Signature Dishes That Matter( $59.95 USD ), a global celebration of restaurant dishes that have defined the course of culinary history, told through the most iconic dishes from the past 300 years. The landmark cookbook features over 240 dishes and nearly 200 recipes, making it a fascinating cultural history of dining out. Short texts provide the origin stories on dishes like Peach Melba, Pizza Margherita, Caesar Salad, and Black Cod with Miso.

Phaidon and OpenTable are partnering with restaurants across the United States to offer diners an opportunity to taste signature dishes prepared by the leading chefs in the country. The four-city dinner series will take place this fall in tandem with the publication of Signature Dishes That Matter. Each dinner will feature a menu inspired by Signature Dishes That Matter diners will leave the restaurant with a copy of the book. Tickets are priced between $115–$175 and are on sale today.

Participating restaurants include:

Monday, October 21
DB Bistro, New York, NY
Chef

will prepare a three-course dinner at his contemporary French restaurant.
$175 including a beverage selection
Link

Monday, October 28
Boka, Chicago, IL
Chef's

will prepare a five-course dinner at the seasonal American restaurant.
$160 plus $45 optional beverage pairing
Link

Tuesday, November 5
Compére Lapin, New Orleans, LA
Chef

will prepare a four-course dinner at her Caribbean and New Orleans inspired eatery.
$150
Link

Wednesday, November 13
Zuni Café, San Francisco, CA
Chef

will prepare a three-course dinner at this California inspired restaurant.
$115 beverages not included
Link

More information, including pricing and available seating times, is available now at www.opentable.com/signaturedishes.

About Phaidon
Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City .

About OpenTable
OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, with more than 52,000 restaurants globally using its software to seat over 128 million diners monthly. OpenTable helps diners discover and book the perfect table and helps restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to grow their business.


Millions more people likely sought US jobless aid last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak forced more companies to slash jobs even though most states have begun to let some businesses reopen.

Roughly 36 million people have now sought jobless aid in just the two months since the coronavirus first forced businesses to close down and shrink their workforces, the government said Thursday. An additional 842,000 people applied for aid last week through a separate program for self-employed and gig workers.

All told, the figures point to a job market gripped by its worst crisis in decades and an economy that is sinking into a deep downturn. The pace of new applications for aid has declined over the past several weeks but is still four times the record high that prevailed before the coronavirus struck hard in March.

The waves of job cuts have heightened concerns that additional government aid, on top of the nearly $3 trillion already allocated, is necessary to sustain the economy. Without another aid package, many economists worry that thousands of small businesses will go bankrupt, leaving millions of the unemployed with no job to return to. And state and local governments, facing huge revenue shortfalls, could be forced to lay off millions more workers and cut services.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this week stressed his belief that Congress should consider providing additional rescue money to avoid prolonging an economic catastrophe.

Republicans in Congress are locked in a standoff with Democrats, who have proposed trillions more in aid. Republican leaders say they want to first see how the previous rescue packages affect the economy and have expressed skepticism about approving much more spending now. That sentiment has alarmed some economists.

“There really isn’t any sign that the labor market is bottoming out yet,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, the career website.

The Trump administration insists that as states reopen, more Americans will shop, dine out and resume other activities, thereby stimulating the economy. But early data suggests it is fear of contracting the virus, even more than shutdown orders, that may be impairing the economy. Without stronger public health measures, such as widespread testing or a vaccine, economists say such fear will depress growth even as more states reopen their economies.

Even though Georgia reopened its restaurants for sit-down dining late last month, Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork, said data from the reservation site OpenTable shows that reservations are still 91% below their pre-virus level.

“Simply ending lockdowns is not going to be a panacea for these companies," Ozimek said. “People aren't going out because they don't feel safe yet."

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits actually rose last week in Georgia, as well as in Florida, which has also started to reopen. In Florida, that increase likely reflects a troubled system that caused a belated processing of claims that had been filed earlier.

A few other states that have lifted some restrictions, like South Carolina and Texas, reported declines in jobless claims.

President Donald Trump appeared to respond to the report by tweeting, “Good numbers coming out of States that are opening. America is getting its life back!”

In Ohio, shopping malls have reopened for the first time since March but have seen little traffic. Roughly two-thirds of the stores in one mall outside Toledo were still closed Tuesday.

Ozimek pointed to signs that business failures are rising. A survey by the Census Bureau, released Thursday, found that 41% of small businesses have closed temporarily since the pandemic hit. Other research has found that half of small businesses lack enough cash to survive longer than a month without revenue.

“Those are the signs that we’ve stretched the economy too far, and it’s starting to tear," Ozimek said.

State and local governments, which cut nearly 1 million workers in April, are running out of money and collectively posing a threat to the national economy. The recession will likely produce the sharpest plunge in state tax revenue since the center began tracking such data in the early 1970s, said Lucy Dadayan, senior research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

About two-thirds of the states have reported data for April, with most showing worrisome declines. California's tax revenue fell 65% compared with a year earlier. New Jersey's dropped 59%, Pennsylvania's 51%. Sales tax revenue has shrunk as consumer spending has tumbled. And income taxes have been diminished by the widespread job losses.

Spending by states and localities plays a vital role in the national economy: It amounted to $2.33 trillion last year — 11% of the U.S. gross domestic product. States and localities employed nearly 20 million workers in February.

In the meantime, jobless workers in some states are still reporting difficulty applying for or receiving benefits. These include free-lance, gig and self-employed workers, who became newly eligible for jobless aid this year.

Kelly Kelso, a stage crew member in Nashville, filed for unemployment aid after her company, Live Nation, canceled all summer tours. She has no idea when touring will resume. She applied in late March but hasn't received a single check. And she can’t get answers.

“I’ve probably called a hundred times and been disconnected every time,” Kelso said.

Kelso's partner is a self-employed musician who finally began receiving unemployment benefits after five weeks. But for the couple, who have a 5-year-old son, money is scarce. Their landlord is demanding rent.

The latest jobless claims follow a devastating jobs report last week. The unemployment rate soared to 14.7% in April, the highest rate since the Great Depression, and employers shed 20.5 million jobs. A decade’s worth of job growth was wiped out in a single month.

Even those figures failed to capture the full scale of the damage. Many workers in April were counted as employed but absent from work but should have been counted as temporarily unemployed.

Millions of other laid-off workers didn’t look for a new job in April, likely discouraged by their prospects in a mostly shuttered economy, and weren’t included, either. If all those people had been counted as unemployed, the jobless rate would have reached nearly 24%.

Most economists have forecast that the official unemployment rate could hit 18% or higher in May before potentially declining by summer.

AP Writers Martin Crutsinger and Travis Loller in Nashville contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Watch the video: Managing A Waitlist With OpenTable