There’s no doubt that the restaurant reservations giant OpenTable offers online value to restaurants and diners everywhere. The company revolutionized the food and beverage industry by allowing patrons to quickly and easily make online reservations to their favorite local hotspots without ever speaking to a receptionist. They’re also rewarded Dining Points for booking and honoring their reservations through OpenTable. These can be applied towards meals at participating OpenTable restaurants, which helps to build brand loyalty.
However, the brand loyalty being built on OpenTable is not loyalty towards the app’s money-making stable of fine-dining restaurants. OpenTable is building brand loyalty for OpenTable, not your restaurant. This is important for restaurateurs to remember because if you’ve already got repeat customers, OpenTable could actually be eating your lunch, especially if you’re booking your reservations through the app’s website widget.
The price of Opentable’s Convenient Referrals
Restaurants and bars that use OpenTable’s GuestCenter pay $249 per month plus $1.00 per seated online cover booked on OpenTable.com (plus the company’s one-time setup fee). While this may be a fair price to pay for new customers who may otherwise never hear about your restaurant, what about your repeat diners who make reservations through the OpenTable reservation widget on your website? You’re still being charged $0.25 per seat for those customers even though they’re originating on your site.
How Opentable diverts revenue from restaurants using your own website technology
Does $0.25 per seat seem like a small price to pay for convenience? That’s the idea, but it’s a bait-and-switch proposition for restaurants. Remember, OpenTable’s priority is building its own customer base, not yours.
When guests book through your website using OpenTable’s widget, they don’t receive the coveted Dining Reward Points that net their patrons free meals. That means that your loyal customers are tempted away from your website and back to OpenTable.com to book their reservations in order to earn points, which costs you $1.00 per seat.
While they’re on opentable.com, patrons are served promotions for any of your competitors willing to pay $7.50 per cover to lure patrons with 1000 point tables. What started as a sure thing for your restaurant becomes an advertising opportunity for your competition thanks to OpenTable’s reward system.
How Redcap Digital helps restaurants take back their revenue
Redcap helps restaurants and bars in the New Jersey and New York increase their revenue and improve operational efficiency. We see OpenTable as a great way to get found but an inefficient and costly way to manage reservations from your existing client base. We bypass the problem by simply removing OpenTable’s website widget from your website and replacing it with your own custom reservation system, which is 100% profit to you. You will get the same functionality of OpenTable’s website widget while eliminating the cost of the middle man.
By eliminating the OpenTable website widget, Redcap Digital ensures that you’re not being charged for customers you’ve already earned, and that can make a difference to your bottom line. Restaurants that upgrade their OpenTable website widget save $1000+ annually while containing your customers.
Reallocating lost revenue to gain a competitive advantage
Operating a successful restaurant or lounge is a costly endeavor and every penny makes a difference, so savvy restaurateurs work diligently to lower costs wherever they can. At Redcap Digital, we help you find hidden costs, eliminate them, and reallocate those funds towards efforts that maximize marketing efforts, improve operations, and boost revenue.
Our comprehensive array of marketing and business management services are tailored for boutique hotels, restaurants, bars / lounges and diners. We offer unique opportunities to boost your revenue by capitalizing on technology, including conversion-focused websites, WiFi marketing, and online revenue streams.