Opentable

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OpenTable is the US's largest online restaurant reservation booking service, allowing customers to instantly find open tables at restaurants and to book them. The company was incorporated in San Francisco in 1998, changed its name to OpenTable.com, Inc, went public in 2009, and is still trading well above its $17 IPO price ($100/share in March 2011 {10}). OpenTable acquired Toptable.com, a UK-based reservation website, for an estimated $55 million in 2010. Toptable.com's network included 3,000 restaurants in the UK and 2,000 in Europe. {9} By April 2012, OpenTable had released an application for the Kindle Fire, and was seating diners in the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. {13} The last year has seen a healthy growth in both diners seated and revenue. The installed restaurant base was 6,664 in June 2012. {16} Headquarters are in San Francisco, California.

Marketing the Concept
Marketing was tough. To get into 50 cities, the company originally paid online restaurant reviewers for links to its website, but the strategy was costing $1 million a month for $100,000 in revenue. {11} Management changes followed, and the company created the user-friendly ERB booking service and sold it through a door-to-door sales force that targeted expensive restaurants. The strategy worked, and OpenTable spread to 50 states and over 1,000 restaurants overseas. {6}

How It Works
OpenTable provides its proprietary ERB (Electronic Reservation Book) touchscreen software that: {12} 1. Provides a real-time map of free tables on each restaurant floor. 2. Keeps meal patterns for all parties.

3. Helps to maximize guest seating.
4. Saves time with automated reservations.
5. Keeps a database of diners.
6. Attracts repeat business with email marketing.
7. Offers a loyalty rewards point system. {5}
Fees are apparently tailored to the individual restaurant, {12} but were: {10} 1. A one-off $600-700 fee for onsite installation and training.  2....
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