Salt, Part 1: What’s Up With Salt? Click here for the whole series! My oldest son brought home his high school chemistry textbook after orientation classes a few weeks ago and inadvertently launched me on a new research project. While thumbing through the book, I […]
Don’t miss this namesake restaurant by Iron Chef Marc Forgione in Tribeca. And definitely do NOT miss the Apple Pie Souffle! It is the single best dessert on the planet earth. Review of Marc Forgione, TriBeCa, Manhattan, October 20, 2011
It was a cold and dark and stormy night in the West Village. But not at Mas, where it was warm, light and calm! Here’s a restaurant that’s a great choice for a romantic night out. Review of Mas (means farmhouse in French), Greenwich Village, […]
We kicked off my 48th birthday celebration this year with dinner at Zuzu in Napa, and picked up steam from there. The crescendo meal for the weekend was a mid-day dinner at the French Laundry in Yountville, a three start Michelin restaurant owned by Chef […]
Check out The Art of the Dog; a series of posts describing some unique, and really good, hot dog recipes! Two of the creations that are part of this series include a BLT Dog, which is a hot dog with bacon, lettuce and tomato and […]
While planning a recent dinner outing to Incanto in the Noe Valley of San Francisco, I was struck that the restaurant has an electronic (web-based) reservation system that is NOT OpenTable. Incanto is run by Chris Cosentino, a two-time contestant on Iron Chef, who specializes in serving up all parts of the animal as part of the menu. In fact, one of the dishes we had on a recent visit was a salumi made from nothing but the ears of a pig. While I wouldn’t exactly go out of my way to order that again, it was certainly creative and did it’s part to make full use of the animal.
But I digress…
On Incanto’s web site is an interesting essay on why OpenTable is NOT good for restaurants. Their theme is that OpenTable doesn’t bring NEW business to the restaurant, but instead diverts over $10/table away from the restaurant (or drives up the prices the patrons pay). Further, the customer’s direct interface to the restaurant is weakened or broken and replaced by OpenTable as the middle man taking their cut. In even a small restaurant that serves 60 covers a night, OpenTable’s fees could easily be $200/night based on averaging 20 tables and using the Incanto estimate of $10/table paid to OpenTable and assuming every table is booked through OpenTable. For a restaurant open six days a week, that turns out to be about $5,000 a month, or $60,000 a year. That’s probably as much or more than many head Chefs are paid!
Here’s another way to think about it: Would you pay $10 directly out of your own pocket to book a table through OpenTable? I know I wouldn’t. But somebody has to be paying the middleman, and it’s either happening by driving restaurants out of business, or your paying for it through increased prices on the menu. Read the article yourself here: Is OpenTable Worth It?
And let’s start picking up that phone next time we book a reservation at our favorite restaurant.
I’m a lucky guy. A few weeks back I “won” an all-expenses paid, two-day trip to New York City in exchange for a few days of meetings with potential investors in my company. Conveniently, said investors all happened to have offices in Manhattan, which is […]