Barrio drops Open Table reservation system, switches to Eveve

Categories: News

Open Table illustration for Dish.jpg
Barrio left Open Table for Eveve this week.
Open Table lost another Twin Cities customer Monday.

Barrio's three restaurants--in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Cocina del Barrio--switched their online reservation account to local company Eveve, which has been steadily siphoning off the company's business in Minnesota since spring.

"It just came down to the economics of it," says Ryan Burnet, owner of Barrio. "It makes more sense for us."

Burnet estimates Barrio was paying "three or four times more at Open Table" than Eveve will charge them.

"I don't think we were seeing the benefit of it," Burnet says of Open Table's reservation system.

Barrio joins a list of high-profile restaurants including Meritage, Hell's Kitchen, and Bar La Grassa that have teamed up with Eveve in the past few months.

Open Table boasts that it's been serving the Twin Cities for seven years and hosts online reservations for more than 230 local restaurants.

"We've always had competition in the marketplace," writes Tiffany Cox in an email to City Pages. "However, the chief competitor remains the pen and paper reservation book."

Cox questioned whether Eveve can handle the businesses it's taking on.

"In terms of the competitor you referenced below, what we're hearing from restaurant customers who experimented with it and subsequently decided to return to OpenTable is that the software they tried was not robust or reliable enough for their reservation-intensive businesses," Cox wrote.

Eveve's owner shrugs off Cox's criticism.

"It's fairly well known that, by volume, Hell's Kitchen is the busiest restaurant in town," Timothy Ryan says. "They've done this service for four months now."

Ryan projects future growth for his company.

"I think the fact that they're not taking us seriously is going to haunt them," Ryan says. "I believe that 50 restaurants will switch to us by Christmas."

Previous
Open Table and the cost of making reservations
Meritage and Hell's Kitchen drop Open Table: The exodus begins?
Eveve v. Open Table: More prominent Twin Cities restaurants switch reservation services


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13 comments
Gideon Stanley
Gideon Stanley

Thebackbone of any lodging business is your property and guest database. Securestorage of your database in any event is vital to continuation of your businesseither in the event of a power outage or disaster.

SidneyLarsen
SidneyLarsen

My new resto opens early spring so I've been following these stories closely as I try to decide. Interestingly, I went back and noticed that "Honestly" has commented on every single article about Open Table's competitors, always touting selling points. Interesting. Shill? Honestly!

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

I think Eveve could be a competitor...but seriously...who is doing their art/brand? It looks like rave fliers I did in Paint Shop Pro in high school.

Bevel? Check.Drop Shadow? Check.No concern for spacing/kerning? Check.

It just needs a lens flair.

Honestly
Honestly

While Barrio's a fine local chain, I still don't see the critical mass of restaurants that make me want to worry about two rival sites. Barrio seems to get a lot of its customers from walk-ins at lunch and after work/happy hour. 

Right now Eveve has two problems: (1) No smartphone app like OpenTable's easy-to-use option, (2) much more minor is branding: how do you pronounce that name? (Eve? Eve-vee?) 90%+ haven't heard of it. Tellingly: sister restaurants La Belle Vie and Solera appear to stay with OpenTable. 

I hope they eventually form a major rival to OpenTable, but they're falling pretty short from the customer/diner perspective. 

Honestly
Honestly

Hey SidneyLarson,

If you'd used due diligence (which might hint at my profession) you'd see I comment on a variety of articles here because I follow the blog regularly and comment on what interests me. 

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt--Perhaps you're not looking for a lame way to disregard my opinion, in which case my point is simple: I'm the sort of customer these services are aimed at; I eat out regularly; and I also need an incentive to switch to a new or add another system. At this point I really don't have one as none of my favorite restaurants have switched over and Eveve hasn't done what seemingly every other company's done and made an app so I can access it when I want to. I've said I'm open to them at that point, however at the moment I don't bother because I can find out about new spots on the various blogs and use OpenTable's app when I'm in a pinch. But if you use the same logic as you did with me on your restaurant planning, Sid, best of luck to you!

John Hart
John Hart

Regardless, his points are still valid. I'm a diner that uses OpenTable regularly and Eveve simply doesn't have a destination website. I dine at dozens of restaurants and try new ones through OpenTable. No way can convince me that it will be easier to download dozens of restaurant apps or bookmark dozens of restaurant websites for all the restaurants I dine at. Not gonna happen. One-stop destination site is easier, plus I'm rewarded for repeat use. Assuming their software is decent, Eveve might have better success with restaurants in the middle of nowhere, but good luck in trying to keep that business afloat.

Honestly
Honestly

Hey now --everything could use more lens flair.

And comic sans.

Vinotintojoe
Vinotintojoe

Pretty sure LBV and Solera are no longer associated with each other, and also no longer associated with the Barrios... Solera was sold earlier this year, and i thought the Barrio chain split off once the relationship with Thoma-Burnet took a downword turn

Mac Monihan
Mac Monihan

Interesting comment, though it sounds as if an OpenTable PR machine wrote it. I switched my restaurant to Eveve recently (therefore I'm a bit defensive) but so far we've had no problems or even comments from customers. Seems they haven't even noticed? I've also noticed an uptick in actual reservations coming in, though I'll know more when we've been using it a few months. Regardless, we'll be saving more than $300 each month (hey! no need to take 2% of servers credit card tips now LOL)

Loki Smith
Loki Smith

I find your claim interesting that reservations increased. Is it that easy to flip the switch on consumer behavior and do you incentivize diners to go to your website to make an online reservation? Also how do you make up for the locals and tourists that use OpenTable religiously that don't see your restaurant as a choice anymore?

Honestly
Honestly

Lol, I could see how you could construe it that way, but it comes from usage: Unless it's a new restaurant I've heard about or an old stand-bye without reservations (like Punch) I sometimes just check the OpenTable app on my phone and see what's available on short notice --especially if it's a busy night at 7 or 8.

Never underestimate convenience--it's what made many an inferior product succeed over those better in other categories. If Eveve makes an app (free like OpenTable), I'll add it.

Mac Monihan
Mac Monihan

Hey Loki, I honestly can't tell you WHY ressies increased; others who have switched told me theirs did too, but I still didn't count on it until the numbers started rolling in. No, we did not give any incentives to book thru our website although i think a few others might have. Our restaurant was buried in the Open website, so I cannot clearly answer how we make up for locals and tourists; my best guess is that they've found us through Yelp, UrbanSpoon, CityPages and other portals. I just checked today and we're up 17% over same period last year. Sales are up 5%, so that counts for some of it, but not all of it.

Loki Smith
Loki Smith

So it's too soon to attribute the uptick in business from something that Eveve offers that OpenTable doesn't. Holidays are usually good for all restaurants which may be the boost you are seeing now. Well good luck to you with the change. I think competition is always healthy but I hope that a service like OpenTable's always exists for diners like me.

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