Intensive SWOT Analysis of OpenTable as a Best Restaurant Booking System

Weighing the opportunities for the best restaurant booking system – OpenTable

OpenTable is the US’s largest online restaurant reservation booking service allowing customers to instantly find free tables at restaurants and book them.


According to OpenTable press report 2018, it has got on-board more than 28 million diners per month via online reservations across more than 51,000 restaurants.

It accomplished the tough part of getting into 80 cities across 20 countries, to which OpenTable reciprocated by creating a user-friendly Electronic Reservation Book service and sold it through a door-to-door sales force that initially only targeted the expensive restaurants.

The strategy worked for OpenTable and it spread across to 50 states in and over 1,000 restaurants even to faraway places.

With the help of its proprietary Electronic Reservation Book Software, OpenTable strives to provide the following

  • It has got a real-time map integrated that shows free tables on each restaurant floor. This, in turn, makes the management of the floor easy.
  • It keeps a specific meal pattern for all parties. It helps maximize the guest seating by optimizing the maximum space.
  • It saves a hefty amount of time of both the restaurateurs and the customers with its online reservation system.
  • It stores all the data of the diners and gauges their pattern of frequency. This is how they manage the list of their loyal customers.
  • It provides the restaurateurs the reviews written by their customers.
  • It attracts repeat customers with email marketing.
  • It offers a loyalty system to the customers so that they can avail benefits through the points they have accumulated.

Revenue Model of OpenTable


  • A one-time $600 – $700 fee for onsite installation, training, and support.
  • A monthly fees of $199 is charged by OpenTable from the restaurateurs for the hardware and the software.
  • A reservation fees of $1.00 per guest is charged when the reservation is made with the help of the OpenTable platform.
  • A reservation fees of $0.25 per guest is charged when the reservation is made through the restaurant’s platform with the help of the OpenTable platform.

Comphrensive business model of Opentable Similar Platform

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Strength of OpenTable

OpenTable struggled to get its initial public offering priced, but the stock has since appreciated considerably, making takeovers expensive.

OpenTable is a unique concept in itself and so, though after a time being, but they acknowledged the convenience that the portal provided and delved into connecting them.

This convinced more restaurateurs to join the platform and get listed for the customers to choose from a myriad of options to dine.

This way OpenTable went on its journey to acquire more and more restaurants and ultimately became so big, that it even took over many small fishes in the pond, working for the same purpose and eventually became the whale itself.


OpenTable made a quick yet strategic expansion.

OpenTable once only operated covered some of the major cities of the US, but it spread its wings as far as could in the countries such as Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Japan.

This is how it made its expansion by targeting the demographics of the countries who are frequent diners as compared to that of the rest of the world.

OpenTable operates a mobile service

The digital world you can say it!

The most compelling part about OpenTable is that it has got developed an iOS app, an Android app, and it also runs of Blackberry devices along with a well designed website.

This gives the platform a larger pool of audience who use different types of devices.

OpenTable has got a lot of features for the Customers & Restaurateurs.

The business model of OpenTable is planned in such a way that it has got almost everything that encircles the vicinity of the online table reservation system.

From the registration module, customized choices, online reservation, Google map integration, reminders, customers ratings, 24 hour booking, real-time availability, instant confirmation, multiple language support, invoice generation, notifications, simple cancellations, special requirements, dining area selection, drag and drop reservations, group bookings, loyalty system, menu view, table combinations, print reservation list, special offers, reservation templates, table blocking, maintaining database, rewards, reservation management, client visit history, timeline, and still counting……..


These were the features on the application that provides ease of booking as well as the ease of management like no application that exists today does and makes it best restaurant booking system.

OpenTable has devised almost all the types of revenue model in its business model.

Revenue form Subscription

Revenue form Reservation

Revenue form Installation

Revenue form Ads

If you closely at the revenue model of OpenTable, all that you will see is, they are set in ascending order of their idea of generating revenue.

OpenTable earns the maximum with the help of the monthly subscription plans. Second most remunerative revenue generating the model for OpenTable is the revenue obtained by the reservation done. Next, the installations and training work well for the platform, and a little or lesser is obtained by the advertisements.

You see, here it has got all the three sure-fire methods to make money and so it does not have to rely on the advertisement and suffer from any downfall.

OpenTable grew more by word-of-mouth marketing.
When OpenTable was once just a seed, it nourished its roots by fostering the viral marketing instances. The most effective form of OpenTable’s marketing form was simple:

Entice the diners in such a way that when they find the platform’s service helpful, they recommend it to their peers, thereby creating an unstoppable chain of the most reliable marketing strategy – word of mouth marketing.


Weakness of Opentable similar platforms

OpenTable does not grade restaurants

It is not the OpenTable that grade restaurants, it is the customers that do it.

Now, these customers can be the internal members of the restaurants and so will obviously speak high about the restaurant.

In such cases, it is really risky for the portal that shows a five-star rating on the portal and in reality, it is not even worth a single star.

The customers can lose the respect they have for the portal and can decide to uprightly quit it while transitioning to a more trustworthy portal.

OpenTable system is relatively expensive for the smaller restaurants where profit margins are relatively slim that is approximately 5–7 %

Though OpenTable has a wide and far reach in various cities, in various countries, in some of the places and restaurants, its growth opportunities should be underestimated.

This is because of the fact that not all the restaurants are in the center of the city or the venue of the restaurants are not all where the customers can reach easily or with a little brouhaha.

On the other hand, the larger restaurants can pay for a subscription and every other plan that Open Table launches considering the big amount they charge from the diners.

On the same page, when we talk about the smaller restaurants, they don’t themselves charge a big amount and when due to the competition register themselves to the portal, they suffer a lot since their profits margin are relatively slim.


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Opportunity for Opentable similar platform

Expansion is possible through applications for tablets and mobiles

As discussed above, the secret ingredient to OpenTable’s expansion is undoubtedly mobile applications.

Pertaining to the technological advances in the world of devices, Mobile & Tablets, IoTs, wearables can serve as the future of the industry.

Thus, developing the applications for those devices can help OpenTable step way forward than where its competitors are.

Expansion in various countries

The most obvious form of an opportunity to OpenTable can be in the form of expansion to other countries and targeting major cities of it.


Threats for Opentable similar platform

Many sites more usefully assess restaurants

Call it Yelp, or call it ChowHound, OpenTable is overshadowed by these sites considering various factors in mind.

One of those factors can be, Yelp provides the reviews and ratings open for all the restaurants to view.

OpenTable doesn’t.

This is a big turn off for the restaurants who seek for the genuine reviews and even the customers feel cheated when their honest reviews of criticism are not published by the platform.

Competition from similar services

OpenTable has got fierce newbie competitors in the form of MenuPage, UrbanSpoon, SavvyDiner who strives to cut any hurdles that come in their way of surpassing OpenTable.

Competition from Search Engine, Online yellow pages, and travel agencies.

Though not trendy, still are some of the genuine ways to find the restaurants. The directories provide the number of the restaurants, and though not with a single tap, they sure do help in getting a reservation.

The Power Lies In Your Hands.

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Quick Takeaway

This was a comprehensive study of OpenTable as a best restaurant booking business by weighing all the factors that make up a big platform called OpenTable.

For the aspiring to-be-OpenTable app,

You have a big chance to win over OpenTable, only if you outwit it in the way that OpenTable can’t survive against.


Interested in developing an OpenTable similar app?

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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.