OpenTable is continuing its drive to push more people to its restaurant-booking service. Fresh from a partnership with Lastminute.com and another with FourSquare, integrating its booking software into their services, the company has moved its attention to signing up more restaurants to its booking platform — by offering free mobile-optimised websites to eateries that sign up before February 1, 2013.
The offer is open to restaurants in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and for those who sign up before February it will be free for as long as they remain an OpenTable customer and comply with its T&Cs. After January restaurants wanting to use OpenTable’s mobile website optimisation service will still be able to do so but will be charged “a nominal monthly fee” (totalling around $100 per year in the U.S.). OpenTable is using DIY mobile website maker DudaMobile to power the mobile site optimization service (earlier this year DudaMobile raised $6 million in Series B funding).
The service streamlines restaurants’ websites to foreground booking information — as seen in these before and after images below
OpenTable says a growing number of diners are choosing to book via mobile: in Q2 of this year reservations booked on mobile devices accounted for 20 percent of diners seated in the UK, while in North America OpenTable has seated more than 30 million diners through reservations booked on mobile devices — which it says represents more than $1 billion in revenue for OpenTable restaurant customers (based on a check average of $42.50 per person as reported by OpenTable restaurant customers).
“More than ever, diners are choosing where to eat and making bookings based on information accessed on their mobile devices, yet the majority of restaurant websites are not designed for mobile use,” noted Mike Xenakis, Managing Director of OpenTable Europe in a statement. “By removing the added time and cost required to create and host mobile-friendly sites, we are making it simple for restaurants to reap the benefits of the shift to mobile.”
OpenTable provides a restaurant management system for restaurateurs called the ERB (Electronic Reservation Book). In addition, the company operates OpenTable.com, a website for making restaurant reservations online. The website initially launched in the San Francisco area in March of 1999. Since then OpenTable has grown to have a customer base of over 25,000 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the UK. More than 325 million diners have been seated via OpenTable.