It has been a privilege and a great honor of mine to be able to work with my client OpenTable.com for the past 18 months. As a brand and a company several big changes have occurred during that time. Last year OpenTable.com was bought by the Priceline Group, and that was one of the changes for the global leaders in restaurant reservations.
Following the acquisition, OpenTable launched a new, redesigned site with bright pictures compared to the old text based site. It was the first time the site had been updated since 1998 making it look like it belongs in the 21st century. It improves the user experience with new landing pages, and improved restaurant mapping down to specific neighborhoods making it easier for people to find available restaurants. Following the new site OpenTable unveiled a new brand/logo. The new concept focuses more on the user experience compared to just the restaurant reservations. The new tag line sums it up: “The table is just the start.” As OpenTable becomes more of a global brand they are focusing on improving the user experience with new contests and services.
They are using a contest called, “#100opentables” to spread the word about the exciting changes the brand has under gone. Top restaurants around North America and the United Kingdom have agreed to a give an open table for the contest and OpenTable.com has agreed to pick up the check. To participate it’s a three step process 1) Make a reservation at a participating restaurant 2) Share it through various social channels 3) Check back for new restaurants, and wait for the chance to win. You can find more details here.
OpenTable has also expanded their services to more than just filling seats. An exciting new feature is once you make your reservation through OpenTable you have the ability to pay for your meal through their app. This is being tested in top markets around the United States, you can find out more here. This eliminates the wasted time at the end of the meal waiting on the waiter to bring the check.
OpenTable.com is an interesting client because they provide a free service that anyone can use to help improve the dining experience. In addition, they are continuing to focus on the user and making life easier. I maybe a little bias but my focus is to continue to spread the word about this great product!