Tech Tuesday: OpenTable, Foodspotting, and You

It’s 2013, and many of your current and potential customers use smart phones in their daily life. Two popular apps, OpenTable and Foodspotting, will now be under one banner, as OpenTable has bought Foodspotting for $10 million.

What is OpenTable?

OpenTable is an online restaurant reservation, offering free reservations for customers (in exchange for monthly and per-reservation fees for the restaurant). Customers can also receive points after reservations, to be redeemed for future discounts. These points can be offered at certain times, allowing restaurants to encourage patrons to arrive at less-frequented times. OpenTable is also integrated with Siri, allowing iPhone users to place reservations via their personal digital assistant.

What is Foodspotting?

Ever eat at a place, and receive a dish that just doesn’t look like it did on the menu? Foodspotting hopes to rectify that problem, allowing patrons to take pictures of their food and upload it. Other patrons can log into the service and see what food they want might actually look like.

CNET reports that OpenTable has purchased Foodspotting for for $10 million, but will continue to run Foodspotting as it’s own. These two apps might have flown below the everyday restaurant owner, but this major purchase might have caught their eyes.

How to Use Both Services

Foodspotting is really simple. Just go onto their site and see if you’ve been snapped. If so, make sure your food is meeting your own personal expectations. If nobody’s taken any pictures of your business, think about ways that you can make your food more visually appealing, or if you’re confident enough as it is, encourage customers to post pictures of it (such as a “We Encourage Foodspotting” sign).

OpenTable, on the other hand, requires a bit more work, but can pay off. Go to their site and apply. You’ll have to revamp your reservation system, but it’ll be worth all the effort in the end.