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Priceline is founded. Chuck Templeton founds OpenTable after noticing "the difficulty his wife faced while trying to book a dinner reservation by phone.

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Needless to say, investors weren't happy. July: Priceline acquires Booking.

OpenTable vs Resy: Restaurant Reservation Apps - The Barron Report LIVE

According to their S-1 , there were 30, reservation-taking restaurants in the US at the time. OpenTable claimed 10, of them as customers. The Wall Street Journal called it "better than expected. Early According to the San Francisco Chronicle , OpenTable "seated more than 22 million diners at restaurants worldwide" in the first quarter of Meanwhile, competitors like Urbanspoon's Rez have started to pop up.

Priceline announces that Kayak will continue "independent operations" under its current management as in the OpenTable acquisition in OpenTable CEO Matthew Roberts tells All Things D that Foodspotting will continue to exist as an app and that "the more deeper integration will happen in the other direction," as in adding photos to menus on the OpenTable site or to confirmation emails.

July: OpenTable "partners" with competitor Urbanspoon's reservation service.

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OpenTable acquires UrbanSpoon's Rezbook reservation system, which was launched in as a more affordable option for online reservation making. The terms of the deal are undisclosed. August: Facebook partners with OpenTable to offer reservations at 20, restaurants direct from restaurants' mobile Facebook pages. The terms of the partnership are private, but presumably OpenTable gets a windfall. So far, none of the new services appear to be profitable. Consumers continue to have fundamental gripes about these services: chiefly, that they offer few or no tables during the peak dining hours.

They make it difficult to book tables for large or odd-numbered parties, which is why diners like Jeff Day, a marketing executive in Austin, Tex. His wife, Teresa, however, recently added one of the upstarts, Reserve , to her phone. Reserve has managed to attract those restaurants because, like many of other new reservation services, it is paying more attention to meeting their needs. After all, the restaurants are paying monthly fees for the service.

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But winning over restaurateurs, many of whom have accumulated a long list of gripes against what they perceive as cookie-cutter approach to their reservation woes, is still a challenge. OpenTable is not just standing by as others invade its turf. And OpenTable offers consumers points that can earn benefits like access to special wine tastings or menus at various OpenTable restaurants. Not all of that innovation has paid off. Leslie Cafferty, a Priceline spokeswoman, said OpenTable is profitable and bigger than it was then.

She said Priceline had bought the company based on a strategic plan that was in place at the time but has since changed. Cafferty said. In July, it lost Le Bernardin and Augustine, two hard-to-book New York restaurants, to Resy , an elegant app-based reservation system started in by Ben Leventhal, a founder of Eater.

OpenTable Dominates Restaurant Reservations, Despite Growth of Upstarts - Eater

Resy, now used by roughly 1, restaurants in 80 cities across the country, has seated more than 25 million diners since its inception, and the number of meals served to those using its system quadrupled in the year that ended in May, Mr. Leventhal said.

Many restaurants that use Resy, for instance, require diners making a reservation to enter a credit-card number, in an effort to discourage no-shows and cancellations; about 1 percent require a down payment. Resy follows up to remind diners when a reservation they made is imminent. Users can also put themselves on a waiting list at some restaurants, which makes it much easier to ensure that all tables will be filled, since most cancellations happen within 24 hours before the reservation time.

As a result, Resy says, it has brought no-shows down to under 4 percent on average; the usual rate is as much as 15 percent, the company said.

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Danny Meyer, the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, was on the OpenTable board for almost two decades and one of its best ambassadors. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audience is coming from. To find out more or to opt-out, please read our Cookie Policy. In addition, please read our Privacy Policy , which has also been updated and became effective May 23rd, Danny Meyer just switched his restaurants to Resy, but the original reservation service still dominates.

The financial impact of losing those restaurants aside, a high-profile restaurant group like USHG abandoning OpenTable for a younger, flashier startup also seems like a symbolic blow to the company, which has been around since So why make the switch to Resy? But OpenTable persists in commanding its market. The company services 47, restaurants in 20 countries, and seats 26 million diners per month via online reservations.

Long the dominant player in the online reservations game, for years OpenTable could charge whatever it wanted with little competition.


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But since , a succession of reservations startups has cropped up.