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Developing a Reservation Service App equal to OpenTable

Developing a Reservation Service App equal to OpenTable


OpenTable has made a reservation revolution. This restaurant reservation app has made a long journey to become the one we all know today. Created in 1998, it brought the entire reservation system online. Chuck Templeton, the idea creator considered phone reservations out-of-date and felt sorry for his wife who was trying to book a table.

So what lies under OpenTable application success? For the first it was the total absence of competitiveness. In late 90s this led to the monopoly of OpenTable. This story continued until 2014 when OpenTable was bought by Priceline Group - the most recognizable travelling service. Now it runs OpenTable in 18 countries around the globe.

Despite OpenTable can be still considered as a market leader, now it loses domination due to other successful platforms. So the nearest OpenTable competitors are SeatMe, Reserve, Resy and TableSavvy. Their advantages lie in discounts, some free options and easy and fast registration. There are also other apps like Open Table but these are the nearest in competition.

The competitiveness is really tough but it doesn’t that creating reservation restaurant app is a bad idea. There are a lot of things to offer in the way to make your app popular and gain revenue.

Developing a Reservation Service App equal to OpenTable

Dining service

So how does OpenTable work? It uses an application that is supported by almost every OS. On top of app restaurant reservation can be done on the official website. OpenTable implements all possible tools and strategies to create the best restaurant reservation system IPad, IPhone, Android and other devices can use.

Apart from standard reservation feature, OpenTable provides a huge variety of services. Users can have a look at the menu of a particular venue, get to know the restaurants’ description, review, ratings and more.

Does OpenTable work in the way of getting revenues? Well, according to OpenTable blog 2015 statistics are really self-explanatory: with the amount of 220 million active users, app gained $8 billion profit. So no need to say that making a reservation restaurant app is a great idea including the fact that OpenTable application is not fully worldwide.

Searching for restaurants

First of all, users should perform an OpenTable sign in. They can take advantage to create an account from scratch or use an existing Google or Facebook profile for logging in. Geolocation is essential for the app so assure it’s turned on. OpenTable will offer you venues nearby.

Users are provided with not only a list of restaurants, they are able to choose from tops, watch customers reviews. The system also offers filters to make your request more concrete. You can sort venues by a specific cuisine, OpenTable dining cheque, amount of sitting places and attendees etc. All needed information about venues is also provided: customer service phone number, payment tools, working hours and so on.

Developing a Reservation Service App equal to OpenTable


How does OpenTable make money? This question is really interesting because the system usage is free. App doesn’t charge any fee for reservation from users but restaurants but restaurants pay $1 for each reservation made via app, website or widgets implemented to other sites. In addition, venues also pay $0,25 for every reservation made on restaurants site. Roughly speaking, OpenTable gains revenue for almost every reservation except phone calls that are actually out-of-date.

OpenTable also provides a pay-for-performance system for venue owners. It offers extra OpenTable rewards for to users that made a reservation in a particular restaurant. In their turn, restaurants pay $7,5 for every client keened by this system. It is really helpful in off-season period to avoid empty halls.

There is no reservation system that will work without some crucial tools. The main source of money for OpenTable is selling those tools to restaurant owners. To participate in OpenTable service, they should pay a $700 fee to subscribe in Electronic Reservation Book. The price also includes staff training to use it.

All client data belongs to OpenTable so it obligates restaurants with $199 per-month subscription for using this information.

There is also a solution for smaller restaurants. OpenTable offers them not to install ERB but to use OpenTable Connect - its nearest alternative. In that case, venues pay a smaller subscription ($50 per month) but pay $2,5 for every client instead of $1.

But what if I say that your restaurant doesn’t actually need a third-party application. So far from paying money to reservation companies, doesn’t it better to create your own system that will work especially for your venue. A lot of US and European businessmen have already done so (Momofuku or Alinea for example).

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So whether you want to create an OpenTable clone to engage restaurants or you want an online reservation system for your own venue, feel free to contact us. Together we can create a great application.