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Showing posts from May, 2016

Restaurant Wars...or are they?

Disclosure: I consulted for OpenTable for some time. Every now and then, restaurant reservations juggernaut OpenTable sees an article about how their stranglehold on online reservations is under attack. The latest is this article in SFGate , and follows the usual narrative: OpenTable is too expensive, plucky startups are trying to show there's a better, more restaurant-friendly way to do business, and maybe one of them will be a success. There were a raft of "pay for play" reservations services that would allow the diner to prepurchase vouchers that would get them a seat; most of them have gone away (although Reserve , in this piece, has clearly pivoted from that). There was SeatMe , a really innovative product, which was gobbled up by Yelp years ago. There were even efforts by credit card companies to provide a concierge to do this. And this is the latest. But most of these articles miss the point altogether. Put yourself in the shoes of a restaurant owner: you