My friend Erin tweeted this post from Kottke.org to me last night:
And honestly, I had no idea this was going on. I don’t think I’d ever considered that OpenTable was making money from the restaurants at all, let alone a lot of money.
But OpenTable has literally changed the way I dine. I basically won’t go to a restaurant at this point unless I have a reservation; I hate being told to wait at the bar, and I hate even more having to wait outside because tiny NYC restaurants don’t have proper waiting areas. Using OpenTable means I don’t have to waste time calling a reservation line, waiting through their greeting that describes the restaurant’s location/hours/type of cuisine/chef’s favourite vacation spots, waiting on hold for a reservationist, and ultimately finding out that the place is all booked up for the weekend. Plus, with OpenTable, I can add all of the restaurants I want to try to my favourites list and see which of them has open spots for any given time and date at my whim. Genius!
I used to actually get mad when a restaurant wasn’t on OpenTable (I’m looking at YOU, everything-Mario-Batali-owns), but now I understand why a restauranteur might avoid it. So what do I do?