After almost 12 months in preparation, it finally appears that OpenTable Australia will start taking bookings in Australia. In September we wrote that OpenTable had announced the purchase of AS Digital.
The launch, which is reported in Hospitality Magazine, is probably a soft launch, given that the Open Table Australia website does not list any restaurants as being available for bookings yet. It is reported that they have already signed up high profile restaurants including Rockpool, ARIA, Otto Ristorante and Jamie’s Italian. This is the usual route for new entrants innto a market – to sign up a few high profile restaurants to try and create the impression that their product is a must have. It has not been disclosed whether these restaurants are purchasing the OpenTable / Respak system, or whether they have been given free trials of the product.
What does it mean for your Restaurant?
OpenTable has a total of 33,000 restaurants throughout the world, including the US, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico and the UK. It has built this base after 17 years of operation. It portrays itself as the must have table booking solution for Restaurants, but even in the United States, the penetration is quite low, considering their are almost 185,000 single location full service restaurants (this figure excludes chain restaurants!), so market penetration is low across the US, but is higher in competitive markets like New York.
OpenTable Australia fees not yet disclosed.
OpenTable Australia has not publicly released their monthly charges, nor the fee per seat or per booking, but it is likely to be at the higher end of the spectrum of what is available. It has struggled to increase market share in the United States and in it’s export markets due to the high fees that it charges.
We think that this is one of the biggest causes of decreasing customer loyalty for Restaurants and that is why we introduced our own Free Online Restaurant Booking System. The system, which is the largest free online booking system in Australia and New Zealand, has taken over 300,000 seats for restaurants, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars and more importantly, providing them with an email marketing database that they can use to contact their existing customers. We provide all of this completely free, because we believe that to compete today against the big chains, Restaurant must have this feature on their website and they must be able to do it for free.
If your looking to cut the costs of taking online bookings or looking to start taking bookings on your own website for your restaurant, please contact the team at Marketing4restaurants.