Fight for your dinner: Urbanspoon vs. Open Table

Sections: Communications, Gadgets / Other, Lifestyle, Mobile, Web, Websites

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urbanspoon looks to fight open tableOpen Table, the online restaurant reservation system, has swept its way into over 10,000 eating type establishments. With revenue of $55 million and an almost unbelievable, successful IPO, given the economic climate, the company has even infiltrated the suburbs. Now, iPhone App competitor Urbanspoon looks to enter the same space.

Currently being tested, Urbanspoon’s twist looks to be immediacy as the new service can now help users make same-day reservations. Instead of planning reservations in the future like Open Table, Urbanspoon looks to seize the “where can we eat now” crowd. So how can Urbanspoon compete with an established market creator?

OpenTable’s start up cost for a restaurant is about $1300 for hardware installation and training. The site also collects $1 bounty per diner and $199 per month for membership (figures from here). Ouch. Why would anyone sign up for such an expensive system? The software. OpenTable’s reservation management, customer database, and email tools allow restaurants to have better access to their customers — an important means for marketing.

One hiccup for Urbanspoon is compatibility. A reservation coming in through Urbanspoon while earning the same $1 bounty for Urbanspoon must be manually entered in a restaurant that also has OpenTable. For a busy place, that is going to be an issue.

This should be one to watch.

Read [TechFlash]

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  • Ivan

    Urban Spoon is getting into the game too. I like those guys, but its an already crowded field. Last I heard, think Fishbowl is gearing up for a online reservation solution…piggy backing on European powerhouse Live Booking's platform. Guest Bridge is the closest thing to Open Table in terms of table management…they offer all the hostess stand tools but don't have per cover fees and a major website where patrons can become a member. Restaurants who don't want to turn over all reservation control to OT such as Fleming's, Roy's, and Fogo de Chao use them. At Reservation Genie, we offer an online reservation solution for a mere $49 per month that pulls traffic from the restaurant's website, partner sites, concierges, and you can enter ones directly into the system that come via the phone. We don't have per cover fees for reservations from the restaurant's website or repeat visitors to our site…that traffic is included in the monthly fee. We do charge a bit more for traffic from concierges and partner sites as we pay them 50% of the revenue for anything they book. Learn more about us at

  • Francisco

    A wonderful alternative priced almost exactly the same but with far more functions is proud to be released this month! TBL-TXT is a mobile ordering system built upon an SMS communications platform. This text-message based system as opposed to the limiting application based community will allow more users access without a "bounty" system. No additional cost is passed onto customers and its functionality is native to any mobile user. Users can make reservations or place orders for pickup, delivery or in house service. The service uses one universal six digit phone number for all establishments so the customer can be familiar with the service in all 190+ countries this service will be available in! Establishments will see higher turnover rates and happier customers. I encourage you to check out our website and see for yourself what the future of mobile system customer service really looks like.