If you’ve been trying to book a reservation at a few of your favorite restaurants lately using Open Table, you might have found that difficult.
Snake River Grill, Trio and Local are moving their booking system over to the app RESY. The reason? The enormous fees for offering reservations through Open Table. The service bills restaurants $1 per person for every reservation made, in addition to a $249 monthly fee. RESY charges a flat monthly fee as low as $99 a month. To book, simply download the app on your phone, or head to the link on the restaurant web pages. (Note: Trio and Local haven’t made the change yet, but expect to do so any day now.)
At Snake River Grill, the biggest motivator was financial. Partner and General Manager Katie Cooper said the restaurant paid about $26,000 in fees to Open Table last year. RESY will cost the Grill around $300 for the year. Diners should see little difference from booking on RESY vs. Open Table.
“We were able to export all our guests’ data,” Cooper said. “For instance, if we know you like to drink water without ice, we were able to transfer that over. We still have the history on all our guests.”
The new RESY system also gives special features, like allowing diners to select between a bar table or a dining room table. The program also offers a “notify me” option. If your requested time isn’t available, you can add yourself to the waitlist and get a text if the table becomes available. But what about the perks that come along with Open Table? Seasoned users may remember the dining gift certificates they redeemed after accruing a certain number of points. Today, you can still get those certificates, but there are few restaurants in Jackson that accept those. Otherwise perks come in the form of Amazon gift cards. “The perks just aren’t as good as they used to be,” Cooper said.
Snake River Grill hopes that other restaurants in town follow suit. “Hopefully we start this movement where we all switch to RESY and save a lot of money for everybody,” she said.
Roadhouse Pub and Eatery was actually the first restaurant in Teton County to make the move. It switched out weeks ago to experiment with the new RESY system. Other restaurants in Fine Dining Restaurant Group (The Kitchen, Rendezvous Bistro and Il Villaggio Osteria) are still using OpenTable for the time being, but could switch in the future.
“We are excited about our partnership with RESY and are testing it for a possible future switch for the other restaurants,” spokesperson Natalie Bates said.
Roadhouse was a good starting point for the test run, as the restaurant takes few reservations. It is also closing for several months before reopening on Town Square in 2018. RESY has a better ability to get the word out about live music, to sell tickets for concerts and to promote special events, like beer dinners, on this app, all things important to Roadhouse, she said.
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