HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


What's the story with Open Table?

My husband and I are trying to figure out if you book your table through open table if you don't get as good as a seat as if you booked it on the phone...any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There's been much discussion about this, do a general search for open table and you'll find the consensus is there isn't a difference (a couple of people have had problems, but the majority love it).

    1. I've never seen any difference in seating or treatment and it's so much easier than calling individual restaurants. I'm a big fan of opentable.

      1. I've never had a problem with seating or treatment when I use opentable, and I use it a lot.

        1. I've never had any problems and you can even add a request if you have one, such as a table with a view, romantic etc...

          1. As I've mentioned in the past, I help beta test their software several years ago. To me, it's the greatest way ever discovered to make a reservation. It's seldom we ever go to a place where I can't use OpenTable to make the reservation. BTW, we're in the bay area and there are almost 500 restaurants listed.

            Since I use it all the time I have tons of points, over 27,000, have never used one. This makes me a VIP member which is noted on the restaurants reservation list. Does it get me a better table, better service? I guess I've really not seen any difference. I do know that if you make a request (it's a birthday or anniversary) many places do something special.

            Over all, a great tool and needless to say, I'm a huge fan.

            1. I have not seen any issue either. My only issue is i wish more restos were on it.

              1. it's a great convenience, for you and the restaurant. i think there is less margin for error too, since english may not be the 1st language for the reservationist, or the place may be really noisy and she can barely hear you on the phone. you'd howl if you saw some of the things i've seen hostesses write! open table vips don't get much extra consideration, but it helps restaurants track how many times you have dined with them, thus a better system for following and tabbing regular guests.

                1. I use opentable at the restaurant that I manage, and I love it. I've only been managing there for a few months, and the system allows me to see which guests have been in several times. I can track their dining history, make notes about their preferences, and plan to seat them where they like to sit, present the wine list to the proper member of the party, remember their birthday or anniversary, etc. Whether or not you are using opentable to make your reservation doesn't matter much to us, (you are in our system either way) but I find that opentable users are less likely to "no-show," so I will sometimes hold a table longer for a late party if it is an opentable reservation. There is certainly no reason from our point of view that you should not use opentable. We pay a small fee for each reservation, but that cost is more than made up in the convenience that it provides.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: monday

                    'Whether or not you are using opentable to make your reservation doesn't matter much to us, (you are in our system either way) '

                    you make it sound like you have more than one system...?

                    In the three restaurants I've worked in that used open table, that is the only system we've used. Call, fax, write, stop in, email, the reservations all end up in the OT system. Booking online vs. calling, no difference.

                    1. re: babette feasts

                      Whether or not you book on-line through opentable, your name is in our opentable system. When we take reservations over the phone, we enter the information in opentable. I wasn't trying to be confusing. I have access to the entire database of people who have reserved in our restaurant, on-line or otherwise. What I was trying to say is that it doesn't matter HOW you make the reservation. Opentable helps us care for you anyway, and we don't mind much how you reserve as long as you DO!

                    1. We use OT as well, but find the latest upgrade has made it less attractive and are looking ar alternatives.

                      I will echo the other restaruant pros who have said that we don't care how you reserve as long as you do (and seating is never arranged by how you reserve--VIPS the exception and those are specific to our restaurant, not OT), but here in NYC I find a lot more OT reservers are likely to no show than phone reservations. Its very frustrating.