Business Caravan: Expansion of OpenTable, Features & More


What OpenTable Similar Businesses Should Know About The Expansion Of OpenTable



The aspect that every business would want to venture out to.

When we talk about the expansion of OpenTable, it is so thoughtfully done, that it becomes worth admiring for all the OpenTable similar website/app development businesses.

This blog covers how this expansion took place at a slow yet steady pace to ace the race of on-demand restaurant booking businesses.

1. Journey of Amplified operations

2.Adding new features step by step

3.From Ground to Growth Peak in marketing

4.Turning the tables around by adopting exceptional revenue model

5.Acing the game of technology

If you want to closely learn about OpenTable, first I’d recommend reading Comprehensive Analysis of OpenTable.

1. Journey Of Amplified Operations


When expansion of OpenTable is discussed, the founder, Chuck Templeton may have experienced really heavy waiting queues at restaurants until this inception, an idea of online restaurant booking service sparked into his head.

Chuck observed that his wife was making vague attempts to book a dinner reservation in San Francisco by phone and this is when the wheels of his brain started to churn to develop an application or website that provides table booking functionalities — OpenTable.

Expansion of OpenTable started in 1998 in San Francisco, than in 1999, the website began its operations and embarked to offer reservations for a limited selection of restaurants. The restaurants that signed up for the services of this platform, used its software to process the bookings made through the website, thus managing bookings, tables and services as well. This is how the trend of online real-time reservation system kick started for both, the restaurants and the diners.

Expansion of OpenTable Before and After_TRooTech Business Solutions

The basic functionality, when the website was launched, was to search for a particular restaurant on the website and book the table of one’s choice. Then expansion of OpenTable started and it got popular and number of restaurants started getting on board with this venture also increased, thus increasing its reach.

At this point of time, OpenTable was generating its revenue by charging the per diner fee from the restaurants. Gradually, it started charging the featuring fees from the restaurateurs as well, thus expanding its revenue model as well. The restaurateurs started getting more and more traction and tools for the better management of their restaurants and an easy portal to manage their bookings as well.

One of the reasons why restaurant booking application is profitable is because it helped the restaurants accommodate more number of diners, that gave restaurants more profit, and ultimately it resulted in the expansion of OpenTable as well.

Then OpenTable came up with the Timeline feature for the restaurateurs. The timeline feature was simply a module for the restaurants with which they got the view of each floor, drag and drop option of the table arrangement, and such similar assisting features for the restaurant’s smooth functioning.

It charged the restaurants for this software installation and maintenance. This is how it opened a bigger source of revenue generation, adding one more page to its revenue model.

Next, it started charging the restaurants per diner fees, even when the bookings were made from the restaurant’s website.

OpenTable went under many magnifying glasses for n number of times, but it has never failed as a business nor has its graph of profit seen a downfall. Read about one such interesting experiment that we carried out to gauge the Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats to OpenTable.

Gradually, more restaurants were added into the database and the horizon of OpenTable expanded to as many countries as possible, making it a big name among the on-demand reservation service providers.

Just have a look now, the Expansion of OpenTable has made its worth in billions!

2. Adding New Features Step By Step



Basic Set of Features

Expansion of OpenTable- Basic Set Of Features_TRooTech Business Solutions

1.Registration Module and Login

The customers can register and login to the website and the mobile application with the help of their email ids, social media accounts, email ids, phone numbers, etc. and set up their profile and feed details such as location and contact details.


For booking, the customer sends a booking request to the concerned restaurant and based on the number of tables available, the booking is confirmed and the user is notified about the reservation.

3.Menu Management

The menu of any restaurant that is registered with OpenTable is displayed in an organized manner along with appealing foodography to lure the diners. Seeing this customized setting of the menu items and photographs, helps the customers choose their food orders quickly.

4.Customized Choices

The customers can add their preferred choices viz. their desired date, time, cuisine, budget, and based on that the app will display them the list of the restaurants filtered by their choices on the basis of their location.


As per their reservations, the diners are provided information about the booked venue, tables, and timings.

6.Customer Rating

The customer rating feature allows the diners to rate a certain restaurant for their dining experience.

7. 24 Hrs Booking

With the app like OpenTable, the users can make bookings in real-time for all 24 hours, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

8.Real-time Availability

The entire system of OpenTable gets updated with every booking made or cancelled and displays the availability of the seats and bookings in real-time.

9.Multiple Language Support

The customers can select any of the language that is supported by the platform.

10.Invoice Generation

The diners choose their preferred restaurant, table, timings, and the number of accompanying people, the reservation is made and the invoice is generated addressing the same.


The diners receive notifications about their booking status through the notifications received in the mail and the text message notifications.

12.Dining Area Selection

The diners can select the dining table and dining area of their choice from the available table list.

13.Group Bookings

In cases, when there are a large number of people to dine in the restaurant, the diners can select multiple tables, arrange the tables as per their preferences and can easily make bookings from the web portal.

14.Special Offers and Discounts

For the loyal diners, OpenTable offers special discount instantly to enhance the repeat orders.

15.Order History

The diners will be able to see the booked restaurant history wherein they would be able to view the restaurants that they have booked previously.

16.Loyalty Program

For all the loyal users of the application and website, OpenTable provides various loyalty programs to delight the diners. Even the diners can keep a track of all their diner points.

Advanced Set of Features

1.Table Number and Maximum Occupancy

The Timeline feature has got this excellent feature known as Table number and maximum occupancy wherein the diners will be able to view whether the floor is occupied completely or not.

2.Drag and Drop Reservation

The diners can edit the time of the seats booked or can even modify the tables with the help of this drag and drop reservation feature.

3.Instant Confirmation

The customers can get their tables booked instantly after selecting the table of their choices, dates, and the number of people.

4.Google Map Integration

The integration of Google maps in the application for a particular restaurant can help find the location of the restaurant.

5.Real-time Seating Availability

The diners will be able to view the real-time seating availability in a restaurant. Here the diners can track the seating.

6.Special Requirements

OpenTable provides a different section for some special needs, allergies, occasions, etc. for the diners. A separate tab is kept in the booking section for the diners where they can brief about the requirements.

7.Seated Reservation

The diners can view all the seated reservation at the time when they have to make the bookings so that they can choose the table of their choice.

8.Upcoming Reservation

This is a very useful feature for the restaurateurs. This helps them to make an arrangement for the upcoming reservations when their restaurant is already populated or is about to have a maximum occupancy.

9.Pre-assigned Upcoming Reservation

For the reservation that are pre-booked, the restaurants can reserve those seats and can choose to show those seats as already accommodated so that no reservations can be made for those seats. Other than that, these reservations can also be used to seat the walk-in reservations, last-minute reservations, or to accommodate the VIP reservations.

10.Simple Cancellations

When the diners want to cancel the reservation made, they just have to choose the cancel option and they can easily cancel the booking done.

11.Grayed Areas

The grayed areas are where no reservations can be made by the diners.

12.Non-reservable Table

In order to seat the walk-ins, last-minute reservations, or to accommodate the VIP reservation, the restaurant can choose to keep these seats reserved for a specific period of time.

13.Refer a Friend and Earn

For the acquisition of the new diners for the platform, the marketing module can be laid out which allows the customers to refer to the non-users and earn once they join the platform and complete their first reservation with the application or the website.


OpenTable allows the restaurateurs to manage all their outlets with the help of a single aligned platform. Here, the restaurateurs will be able to view/edit/ track all the data of the platform.


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3. From Ground to Growth Peak In Marketing


OpenTable Electronic Reservation Book

With the help of the electronic reservation book, the restaurateurs can easily manage the real-time online booking system for diners and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants.

This includes an API that provides the platform for the tablet app and browse based on the remote access product.

It consists of the wait-list feature which fetches the real-time data from the restaurant’s reservation system and quotes an accurate wait-timings.

This proved to be a milestone in the expansion of OpenTable when we look in terms of marketing and raised the stakes for the competitors.

The Feature Program

OpenTable encourages the member restaurants to pay some extra fees for getting featured on the OpenTable platform. When the restaurant opts to be featured as a ‘1000 point’ restaurant.

This entices the diners to earn more reward points and so they try to get their bookings made in the restaurant that can earn them more reward points. This is how OpenTable ensures that the diners stay loyal to both the restaurant as well as to the OpenTable platform.

Here, the loyalty or the reward points that OpenTable gets is accumulated and can be used within OpenTable and not in that particular restaurant. This is how OpenTable ensures the loyalty of its customers towards the platform.

The customers can make use of these earned points at any restaurant.

The Spotlight Program

Spotlight Feature Of OpenTable_ TRooTech Business Solutions

By launching the Spotlight program, OpenTable empowers the restaurateurs to not only save tables, but also saves bucks on their marketing endeavors.

Basically, with the Spotlight program, OpenTable features a cuisine from a restaurant and sends deals to its registered customers with the help of the emails and push notifications on a weekly basis. The customers have to buy the deal before it disappears and have to refer OpenTable to their friends.

Next, the customers have to print their deal certificate and show it to the restaurant, who then approves of the deal and the diners can avail discount.

4. Turning The Tables Around By Adopting Exceptional Revenue Model



1.Fee for Each Booking

OpenTable charges a per diner fee from the restaurant when the reservation is made from the OpenTable’s application or website.

2.Charges for Restaurant’s Website

OpenTable charges per diner fee from the restaurant when the reservation is made using the restaurant’s website.

3.Featuring Fee

OpenTable charges a fee from the restaurants who wants to get featured in the Spotlight program.

4.Selling Business Restaurant Tool

OpenTable sells the restaurant management tools to the restaurants for a better view of the restaurant reservation. It also stores the details about the diners, the loyal diners, and their RFM ranks.

5.Selling Discount Restaurant Feature

The Revenue from the coupon is split between the restaurant and OpenTable. The coupons are generated which has deals and discounts for the customers and when the customers make use of these discounts, the generated revenue is split.

Recommended Read: Intensive Study Of The Comprehensive Revenue Model For Restaurant Booking App

5. Acing The Game Of Technology


This one aspect in the expansion of OpenTable has cost the platform achieve the stage where it is now. It started merely by a website with minimal features and functions, and by gradual expansion has reached with all the latest features that anyone can aspect from an online restaurant reservation platform.

OpenTable traveled from having just a website to cater services to having its own Android App and iOS app for the diners to provide them with best experience that they can remember, equal to the dining experience.

After the website and mobile apps, how could iPad be left out, later an app for iPad was launched by OpenTable to cater all the audiences in all possible ways.

Constantly adding new features to the mobile apps and website and keeping the platform updated with latest technologies is leading the expansion of OpenTable to a much remarkable level.

The Future of OpenTable



Expansion of OpenTable is depicted by us in all the aspects that were possibly a part and parcel of its success up till now.

But standing tall as an expert business strategist, we assume the future of OpenTable lies in the little hands of IoT devices, for now.

Owing to its speed of expansion, OpenTable can use wearables even for giving a personalized feel to both, the restaurateurs and the diners.

IoT for getting booking reminders for the customers.


Simply because foreseeing the future, I see nobody would want to track reservation from their mobile phones and pop-up SMS notifications.

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More About Author

Vishal Nakum

Vishal Nakum is a tech enthusiast with a passion for exploring the latest developments in the world of technology. He has a keen interest in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain, and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in these fields. Vishal is an avid learner and is always on the lookout for new ways to expand his knowledge and skills. He is also a creative thinker and enjoys experimenting with new ideas and concepts. In his free time, Vishal enjoys playing video games and reading books on technology and science.