Urbanspoon is getting ready to take on OpenTable, the popular and publicly traded restaurant reservation service. Urbanspoon just started a pilot program with four restaurants in Seattle. Chances are that the company will then slowly expand this service to the rest of the 90+ markets it currently serves. Compared to OpenTable, Urbanspoon offers a fuller range of features for diners, though it is important to note that OpenTable currently offers more features for restaurant owners, even if they have to pay about $300 per month for a dedicated OpenTable terminal.
Both Urbanspoon and OpenTable charge $1 for every reservation made through their systems.
Urbanspoon Has the User Base to Pull This Off
1 million 'shakes' a day. The app and website started out with only a small set of features. Over the last few months, the company has continued to add features and, at this point, Urbanspoon can easily rival most of its larger competitors in this space.Urbanspoon's iPhone app has been incredibly successful and is currently getting over
With only four restaurants in one city, Urbanspoon is clearly still taking baby steps. As the OpenTable IPO has shown, however, this is a highly lucrative market. Urbanspoon already has a large user base, and whoever is using the service (and especially the mobile app) is obviously looking to go to a restaurant already. By adding a reservation system, Urbanspoon can offer its users a full range of services, from finding restaurants and checking menus and reviews, all the way to actually making the reservation.