OpenTable buys Urbanspoon’s Rezbook; chefs consider options
OpenTable said it seats 12 million diners a month via online reservations for more than 28,000 restaurant clients around the world. OpenTable Chief Executive Matt Roberts said in a release that it would add 2,000 more restaurants in North America by buying Rezbook.
Although OpenTable is the biggest online reservations player in the industry, some vocal restaurateurs have been critical of its fees. OpenTable’s monthly subscription fee for restaurants is $199. In addition, when a restaurant receives a reservation from the OpenTable website or mobile app, it is charged $1 per diner, or 25 cents for those who book on the restaurant’s site. Rezbook, on the other hand, does not charge for reservations made through the restaurant’s own website.
“I don’t believe that OpenTable won’t change that,” said Vartan Abgaryan, chef of Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake, which uses Rezbook. “We’re open to other options.”
Sang Yoon, chef-owner of Father’s Office and Lukshon, said he opted to use Rezbook for Lukshon because it was “a good alternative to OpenTable with a nice interface and was simple to use with an iPad.
I just didn’t think [OpenTable] was as easy to use.” Whether or not he will continue to use Rezbook “depends on whether they change it materially. I don’t know if they’re changing the fee structure.”
Urbanspoon was widely seen as a growing threat to OpenTable, and the deal comes as OpenTable faces more competition from Yelp Inc., which bought reservations company SeatMe. And Boston restaurateur Jeffrey Gates launched UReserv last year.
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