OpenTable battles just-reservations rep

OpenTable wants to be about more than open tables.

The restaurant reservations system has unveiled a website refresh, a rebrand and a new pitch to restaurants and diners alike: we have more than reservations.

New logo
New logo

The Priceline-owned company is hoping to stave off impending competition from companies like BookaTable and Yelp-owned SeatMe and hold on to its dominant position in the U.S. by pitching itself as a one-stop shop for reservations, reviews and on the restaurant side, data about diners.

Old log
Old logo

The result is a rebrand that includes a new marque. What previously was a group of circles — three in the company’s old brand color, a washed-out green and one red — is now one large red circle with a smaller one next to it. The design “reflects brand values like openness, reliability and modern timelessness,” the company said in a statement. The brand also went from a decidedly pragmatic tagline, “Make restaurant reservations the easy way,” to one that indicates its new mission: “The table is just the start.”

OpenTable currently has about 23.4 percent market share, according to Datanyze, with Sabre Hospitality’s SynXis — a B2B solution for hotel reservations — in the No. 1 spot with 29.8 percent share.

The company has seen a spate of me-too startups begin recently, like Zurvu, an invite-only app that lets restaurants sell reservations, KillerRezzy, that does the same, and Resy, all of which make the act of reserving a restaurant easy. But OpenTable has scale — 32,000 restaurants and 16 million diners per month.

As part of the rebrand, OpenTable has a new campaign, called #100OpenTables, where it will host 100 dinners simultaneously worldwide on April 9. Those dinners will take place at well-known, top-rated restaurants like Eleven Madison Park in New York, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London and Bar Tartine in San Francisco. The #100OpenTables campaign will open for business Wednesday — customers can select a city and reservation and share the hashtag via social media.

A website redesign also makes the company pitch itself as more than just a reservation service — guests can now look at pictures of the place and look over notes from the chef. The OpenTable app will also let diners pay and leave — no “bill, please” necessary. The brand also wants to use the data it has on guests and get it to the restaurants: a new Guest Center will let the restaurant access info about the diners.
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