In today’s society, time is of the essence and there is an unspoken urgency that surrounds everything we do. Technology advancements have made us more efficient in our work, and in our personal lives. OpenTable is an example of how technology addresses our need for instant gratification and makes our lives easier. OpenTable provides reservation and customer relationship management solutions to the restaurant industry . Consumers can make free reservations at more than 20,000 restaurants in 12 cities using the OpenTable website1. The website allows consumers to view seating availability, search for various cuisines, and read and write reviews based on their experiences. Additionally, it allows consumers to track reservation history and suggests restaurants consumers might like based on their dining history. There is now also an application available for smart phones so that consumers can make reservations and review the website on their mobiles. The model currently charges restaurants fees for service, but is free for customers. Restaurants can also use the OpenTable Electronic Reservation Book, an online reservation booking system, to optimize the reservation process.
OpenTable has been incredibly successful and effectively has a monopoly in this space2. A new technology that will enhance OpenTable’s value proposition to consumers is upgrading both the website and application to not only list available reservation times, but also wait times. Wait times often determine whether or not consumers choose to dine out, and enhancing this service to include wait times will increase consumer activity, and increase restaurant participation. To implement this enhancement, OpenTable follow several simple steps, many of which will only require tweaks to its existing systems. First, Opentable must negotiate with partner restaurants to provide additional information to OpenTable. For example, rather than reserving select tables to be reserved through OpenTable, the...
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