San Francisco
– User-generated reviews publisher Yelp has announced a partnership with
OpenTable, the provider of online restaurant reservation services. Under the
terms, Yelp users will now be able to make restaurant reservations directly
from Yelp review pages. At launch, the integration will cover some 11,000
restaurants in North America.


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  1. I’m surprised to see such disdain regarding Yelp. A ‘large enough’ sample size is typically that over 30, so one should be able to trust those that have an ample number of positive reviews. (Whether or not restaurants are padding their own reviews is a moot point. There are always going to be some bad apples that contribute to a hopefully small margin of error. Let’s not be that naive that there is some Utopian rating site. It will never exist.)
    I think that the integration of Yelp and OpenTable make totally perfect sense. I have found myself toggling between the two sites to make reservations. I think that Yelp is better known (and pops up more often on Google, for example) than OpenTable. What an amazing opportunity for OpenTable and in the long term for Yelp as well, since it differentiates them from other rating sites like Zagat (ok, already differentiated b/c you have to pay to see the reviews) and CitySearch, Chowhound, etc. I realize that UrbanSpoon has a reservation system, but overall I think that the business with the strongest brand identity in this space is OpenTable. I love this idea and hope that both the business and the consumers reap the benefits of a very logical integration plan.

  2. OpenTable has the restaurants in a very sweet situation. They are a monopoly with no competition. If a restaurant leaves OpenTable in SF then 30% – 35% of their traffic is gone. So until the restaurants are open to alternatives OpenTable will continue to make a fortune. UrbanSpoon’s pricing is going down the same path as OpenTable with better technology so I don’t see restaurants jumping ship. Throwing everything on an iPad is certainly cooler but touch screen has been around for years in the restaurant world. I have heard this firsthand from restaurant owners.