Eveve v. Open Table: More prominent Twin Cities restaurants switch reservation services

Categories: News

Open Table illustration for Dish.jpg
More local restaurants switch from Open Table to Eveve.
A few months ago, the Hot Dish reported on several local restaurants that were unhappy with their electronic reservations provider, Open Table. More recently, a couple major players, Hell's Kitchen and Meritage, switched their service to Open Table's biggest competitor in Europe, Eveve, in order to save money and avoid the possibility of having potential bookings cannibalized by Open Table's discount-heavy marketing program.

After Hell's Kitchen and Meritage joined Eveve, the company decided to focus on the Twin Cities restaurant market. In the past few weeks, Eveve has secured several other prominent local eateries and seems to be gaining a foothold.

Making the assumption that the most reviewed restaurants on Open Table are its most booked, just this week, Eveve launched online reservations services for several of the metro's top 20 restaurants, including the top 5 Bar La Grassa, which typically books about 4,000 covers online each month. (Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre's other restaurant, 112 Eatery, has never offered online reservations.)

A few other major eateries with substantial online monthly bookings have also recently joined Eveve, including Al Vento and Rinata, along with Rock Bottom Brewery, Jake O'Connor's, and Lola's Lakehouse.

Eveve's director and co-owner Timothy Ryan says he believes that Hell's Kitchen and Bar La Grassa were Open Table's number one and two most-booked restaurants in the Twin Cities, which brought the company tens of thousands of dollars worth of annual revenue. For large restaurants not in need of online marketing services, Eveve's $200 a month flat fee can be much lower than Open Table's per-cover fee, and in talking to several local restaurateurs, Ryan was surprised to discover the substantial size of that gap. Hell's Kitchen, for example, was previously paying up to $3,000 a month. "We didn't realize just how much these busy restaurants are paying Open Table," he says.

Ryan estimates that, so far, Eveve has captured some 20 percent of Open Table's business in the Twin Cities market by booking about 18-20,000 monthly covers. And the company is already in talks with several other major players, including the Parasole group, which owns more than a dozen restaurants in the metro. Ryan says the biggest concern that restaurateurs have about switching from Open Table to Eveve is the possibility of lost bookings, but he quickly notes that Hell's Kitchen, which switched a few weeks ago, has actually seen its bookings increase.

Eveve's play for Open Table's business won't come without a fight. Open Table has reportedly been trying to win its former clients back, offering extra discounts and incentives. Still, Eveve feels it can compete against the Goliath of online restaurant reservations by offering a lower-cost alternative. "Open Table abused its market position in America," Ryan says.


My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
jltr
jltr

How can I make a reservation with EVEVE???

Maitredee360
Maitredee360

It doesn't matter for customers who are the provider of reservation service...!!

Ben Peine
Ben Peine

Today (10/24) Eveve's website is down including reservation forms in restaurant sites.

As a restaurant manager, I know how expensive OpenTable is, but their reliability and customer service are very good.

Richard
Richard

It makes no difference to me what provider Bar La Grassa (or any other restaurant) use.  I mainly eat at my 10 favorite restaurants, and when I make a reservation I go straight to their respective websites.  It doesn’t matter to me whether the booking link is Opentable, Eve or just an email form (as long as they reply quickly). If I am browsing for a new place, I always use Google or Facebook to find it.  Why would I use Opentable which rates SOME of the restaurants in Minneapolis, when Google rates nearly ALL of them?

Honestly
Honestly

The moment OpenTable matches, or even comes close, to Eveve's pricing it will be game over. 

Eveve site doesn't have the restaurants conveniently listed in a row when I go there --when I'm checking what's available tonight I don't want to go visit every darned restaurant site (especially since, as many a writer as pointed out, restaurant web design is atrocious), I want one, convenient list. Restaurants that leave Eveve fall off my radar unless I really feel a need to go there, and none of those that moved so far are irreplaceable --in fact I'd bet their competitors are thrilled they moved off of OpenTable

Reservation Genie
Reservation Genie

Good to see a few restaurants following the path of Meritage and Hell's Kitchen.  I work with Reservation Genieand agree with Ryan that Open Table has taken advantage of it's market position in America by charging for all traffic from it's community.  We do not charge for traffic from our patron community be it from the restaurant's website, our website, or any website add online reservations to use our free booking link.  We we do charge from our concierge and affiliate communities as those represent pure referrals and we pay those guys to make those referrals. 

To make it attractive to regular customers, we offer a rewards program that allows restaurants to give perks to customers for coming back often as well as a off peak hour promotion tool that encourages them to come in early.  They assign perks to reservation times or customers with enough points.  They're in complete control of the perk and can create something that is financially viable for them such as 20% off the check, half price appetizers, or 50% off bottles of wine depending on their model.  Since both programs are including in the $49 monthly fee, and we don't "tax" each transaction, it turns out to be a better deal for the restaurant and the guest.  Many of our New York restaurants are using Reservation Genie to transition off Open Table by managing both systems as an intermediate step as they move their community from Open Table to Reservation Genie. 

Kevin Young
Kevin Young

Rachel,Great story, good reporting..  I appreciate the information.  I've got a new podcast designed to help restaurateurs keep up on these things -- Internet marketing for restaurants.  Called Filling Tables, available on iTunes.  Interested in a guest appearance?

Reservation Genie
Reservation Genie

Good to see a few restaurants following the path of Meritage and Hell's Kitchen.  I work with Reservation Genieand agree with Ryan that Open Table has taken advantage of it's market position in America by charging for all traffic from it's community.  We do not charge for traffic from our patron community be it from the restaurant's website, our website, or any website add online reservations to use our free booking link.  We we do charge from our concierge and affiliate communities as those represent pure referrals and we pay those guys to make those referrals. 

To make it attractive to regular customers, we offer a rewards program that allows restaurants to give perks to customers for coming back often as well as a off peak hour promotion tool that encourages them to come in early.  They assign perks to reservation times or customers with enough points.  They're in complete control of the perk and can create something that is financially viable for them such as 20% off the check, half price appetizers, or 50% off bottles of wine depending on their model.  Since both programs are including in the $49 monthly fee, and we don't "tax" each transaction, it turns out to be a better deal for the restaurant and the guest.  Many of our New York restaurants are using Reservation Genie to transition off Open Table by managing both systems as an intermediate step as they move their community from Open Table to Reservation Genie. 

sakura612
sakura612

Open Table was making a killing cuz it was the only service in town, monopoly. Silly capitalism rearing its ugly head.

Amarie721
Amarie721

For what reason?  Do you get points, or do they offer any incentive to book with them?  If you go to their website, it is for the actual business, not the customer...weird.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...