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Feb 28, 2012

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Morgan Glover

Honestly, this is the first time I heard of OpenTable and the concept itself just seems like a solution in search of a problem, except perhaps in some urban markets and tourism-heavy locales.

I rarely need to make reservations and when I do, it's very simple to call ahead. With people carrying web-enabled smart phones, how hard is it to look up a restaurant number on the fly and make a call?

Moreover, as a reporter, I used to meet sources often for lunch. But the recession has definitely put a halt to that practice so I have even fewer reasons to make reservations.

I definitely wouldn't use OpenTable if it was integrated with Facebook.

At the same time, I don't even order food online, even if the the restaurant offers special deals to do so. It seems like more work than a phone call, particularly when you have to create an account, and I really don't want yet another record of my purchases.

Billy Jones

I never dine in restaurants that require reservations or make me wait for a table-- they're simply not that damned good.

Sue

Open Table hostility? It was GREAT when we went to NYC and made reservations weeks ahead of time for large parties. I use it locally (we really don't go out that much for dinner) for biz meetings. I choose not to share it on Twitter, FB or the rest. It's a tool. I like it.

Ed Cone

Salmon likes it, too. A lot. He's asking why it's not more popular. It's his proposed popularity-booster that I, along with many of his commenters, don't much like.

Commenters also suggest that the cost to restaurants slows adoption, and that high-volume/high-dollar joints in NY and LA may be best suited to the service.

sean coon

this is the dumbest concept i've heard since, well, practically every IPO in 2000.

Charlie

Used Open Table twice last week up here in CT. First, it's nice to be able to book a couple spots if you don't know what the guest/client will like, and narrow it down day-of without having to make a cancel call.

Second, around here, you can get a sense if a place is still good or falling from grace based on an availability search on Open Table. Wife and I wound up changing to a different restaurant based on a formerly "booked solid" option having way too much availability. Turns out the chef had left, and a lot of the serving staff followed. Was happy we checked.

All depends on the market. What might be invaluable here may mean nothing in Greensboro where there is not a consistent culture of "book or don't eat" in the local food scene. That said, would NEVER want my Open Table account to be filtered through Fbook.

justcorbly

Like Billy, I rarely dine at places that require reservations. I've also never joined FB, so wouldn't and couldn't use OpenTable if it moved there.

If I ran a restaurant and wanted to take online reservations, I'd be tempted to do it myself. I'd be more tempted to just tell people to email or text the kids at the front of the place.

Ed Cone

I think we can all find common ground around the idea that people who don't make reservations at restaurants will find little value in this restaurant reservation service.

Among people who do make reservations, there seems to be support for this particular service in larger markets, and plenty of pushback against Salmon's actual argument for full frontal Facebooking of the service.

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