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Reservation Genie lowers the cost of online reservations with transparent tools that help you be creative with your marketing.

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January 19, 2016

Boost Reservations By 25% Using Reservation Genie with Open Table

We have great news for restaurants!

If you use Opentable and also add Reservation Genie to your operations, then you will likely see a 15% – 25% increase in your total online booking volume.

Reservation Genie = Reservation Genius!

We’ve measured total reservations per month over a 2 year period for several restaurants using Reservation Genie and Open Table at the same time. The first year we measured using just Open Table. The second year we measured using Open Table and Reservation Genie at the same time. Originally, our goal was to verify that restaurants received the same amount of reservations when adding Res Genie in place of Opentable on their website (but staying on Opentable’s website). The bonus to the restaurant was to be, solely, that they would pay less cover fees to Opentable because Genie doesn’t charge cover fees. However, we discovered that total online reservations greatly increased as a result of adding Reservation Genie to the restaurant’s website. All the restaurants received at least a 15% increase in total reservations per month compared to the previous year and many approached a 25% increase!

Reasons for these results:

1) Reservation Genie’s Suite of Loyalty Tools: At no middle man cost to the restaurant, Genie customizes and automates a customer loyalty program for that specific restaurant that clearly leads to more frequent return customers. You can read more about our automated email marketing and customer loyalty program for restaurants here.

2) The Black Hole of Opentable:

Opentable is a monopoly. When a restaurant links their website to Opentable they make a big mistake. They effectively hand their customers over to Opentable and lose them forever as OpenTable encourages those customers to book directly with OpenTable in the future. If Opentable didn’t charge cover fees, this wouldn’t be a problem. Reservation Genie never charges cover fees from Patrons, so it doesn’t matter how they book. Opentable charges $1.00 – $2.50 per person for regular reservations. What’s worse is that they steer your customers towards other restaurants that pay a premium of $7.50 per person with their 1000 point table program (also known as POP program). So sending your customers to Opentable means they get slowly siphoned away to restaurants that pay premiums through the 1000 point table program and you LOSE CUSTOMERS. If you do offer 1000 point tables, customers get pushed to a more expensive booking path and you get HIGHER INVOICES for the same customers. EITHER WAY YOU LOSE! The solution is to stop sending your customers to Opentable and send them to Reservation Genie where they never trigger cover fees and we encourage them to come back to your restaurant more often.

Below is an email Opentable routinely sends to your customers encouraging them to book restaurants that are willing to pay the 1000 point table premium. They also list these restaurants before regular restaurants in search results when customers search as we outlined in this blog post titled the hidden costs of the open table booking widget

3) Our Free Booking Community: Over 1 million (and counting) customers have now dined at restaurants by way of Reservation Genie. We now have many customers that search for restaurants using our website. We’ve created tools where users can search in different cities for restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine and price category. In terms of cover fees this has cost restaurants a collective total of $0.00.

4) Social Media Push: We reward our users for posting their reservations to Facebook and posts feature a picture of your restaurant and a link to your restaurant profile. Most of our users have over 500 Facebook friends so the result is a lot of free PR for the restaurant. This encourages friends to ask about your restaurant and book there.

Conclusion: If your restaurant is located in a majorly dense cosmopolitan area (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.) then chances are you must succumb to the Opentable monopoly. However, if you add Reservation Genie to your operations for a flat monthly fee of $49, then you will boost your online reservation volume by 15 – 25% according to our extensive studies. So if you currently receive 1000 online covers per month through Opentable, we will increase that total number to 1200 covers per month. And if your per person average revenue per customer is $50, then you will gain $10,000 in monthly revenue and it only costs you $49/month.

We also go the extra mile for you. We will conduct an analysis of your website and offer you free advice to help boost the performance of your website. In some cases, our advice has led to tripling online booking volume via the restaurant’s website.

Contact us to Schedule a Demo and we’ll show you the spreadsheets were all this data was monitored over the last couple of years.