Feb 15, 2021

Many full-service restaurants use OpenTable for table reservations, but did you know that part of OpenTable’s foundational business practices include competing with your business? Using these three methods, OpenTable can make it appear like they’re capturing tons of business for you, when in reality, they’re merely redirecting traffic to their platform.

1. OpenTable beats you in search engines

Nearly 50% of people say they use a search engine (e.g. Google, Bing) to discover new restaurants. But even if your restaurant ranks well for your area and customers can easily find you, you may still be paying OpenTable for those customers. How?

OpenTable often creates Google and Bing ads that show up in the #1 position above your own website.

So even if someone searches specifically for your restaurant, they may be funneled into OpenTable’s reservation system, which means you’ll pay $1 per person for OpenTable’s “network cover” even though OpenTable had nothing to do with the discovery of your restaurant.

Takeaway: OpenTable may steal your search traffic and make you pay for it.

2. OpenTable charges you for people who find you on Google

Even if OpenTable doesn’t beat you with an ad, they’re still charging you for reservations made directly in Google Search and Google Maps. So, once again, even if someone is already planning on coming to your restaurant, OpenTable captures that traffic and charges you for it.

Takeaway: OpenTable charges restaurants for repeat business, even when customers find you organically.

3. OpenTable charges you for reservations from your own website

The first two strategies above are intended to keep you paying $1 per customer, but in the event your customers actually make it to your restaurant's website for reservations, OpenTable still charges you $0.25 per person.

Takeaway: OpenTable will charge you for your own customers that use your own website.

4. The SpotOn difference

SpotOn Reserve will never compete with you.

  • We provide you with the tools you need to promote your restaurant to your guests.
  • We gather and make all data collected accessible to you so that you own your customer data.
  • We charge a reasonable flat fee for reservation software that boasts feature parity with OpenTable.

Learn more about SpotOn Reserve

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