Food Fight

UPDATED: As Fees Become Problematic, Restaurants Move Away from OpenTable, But Do They Stay Away?

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Back in 2011, our sister paper, City Pages, out of Minneapolis, addressed concerns about OpenTable's point system and fees.

"The most expensive option for restaurants is Open Table's rewards program, which gives diners an incentive to book at off-peak times. The diner who makes the reservation receives 1,000 dining points--good toward $10 worth of food at an Open Table restaurant. But while the program does help restaurants fill empty seats during less-busy hours, Open Table also charges them a steep $7.50 per party member. Unless the diner rings up an especially large bill or becomes a repeat customer, a restaurant can lose money on the deal."

Still, OpenTable had a monopoly on online reservations until the last several years, when competing companies like Eveve arrived on the scene Eveve is a Scottish company that works a lot like OpenTable, only without all the fees.

"OpenTable hasn't been either financially or technologically feasible for many of its Houston clients for some time, but restaurant owners haven't felt there was a viable alternative," says Eveve's CEO and president, Timothy Ryan. "Now that Houston restaurant owners are getting the chance to become familiar with our much more affordable pricing model, our superior technology and the ability we give restaurant owners to regain control of their marketing destiny and customer relationships, we are beginning to see the same type of growth that has allowed us to become the majority supplier of online bookings in the Twin Cities."

This story continues on the next page.

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Kaitlin Steinberg