Redesigned Search Results on OpenTable: More Info, More Choices

OpenTable Search Button has been around for a long time, and we’ve gotten great feedback about how the website is so simple and easy to use. But we also know that our product and the web overall have evolved a lot since we launched. One of the places where we knew could do some great new things to help our users get restaurant info and make good decisions was in our search results pages  — the ones that people see after they click the big red “Find a Table” button.

So by popular demand, we’ve redesigned search results from the ground up and added some new content and features front and center. Now, if you come to us before you’ve actually decided where to eat tonight, you can choose to search around a specific neighborhood or address (or even select multiple locations). You can also narrow your results by times, prices, cuisines or 1,000-point slots (before you could only re-order these lists). If you need to see user reviews, you can now show our confirmed diners’ star ratings and compare your options that way. Even if you’re just here to make a reservation at a specific restaurant, we now show more information about the restaurant up-front, including photos and address info, in a lighter and easier-to-read page design. Here are the screenshots from before and after:

Old Search Results
New Search Results

Adding these features and still ‘keeping it simple’ was a challenge. After all, these pages are where your dining out experiences begin, and we wanted to make sure the unique, real-time table availability from our restaurants is always immediately obvious. Thus, we tested a bunch of prototypes with our users in person, through surveys, and live on the web, and we settled on a design that even our longest-tenured users have said does just about everything the old design did — and more. Even better, our data also show people are finding what they want faster and much more frequently. We hope you enjoy it, too, and if you have any feedback, we’d love you to share it with us on our search results user survey. Bon appétit!

Jack Shay is Senior Product Manager for


  1. Martin Spit says

    Thanks for running the service that makes dinner reservations a chore no longer. Can you please bring back the functionality to sort the result list on neighborhood?

  2. Mitch Hara says

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back the ability to sort by neighborhood/location on screen – that was a powerful tool and on that I used to make most all of my dining decisions. The current format is sub-optimal in that it doesn’t allow for it.

  3. John Kramer says

    AMEM and I third the request to “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back the ability to sort by neighborhood/location on screen – that was a powerful tool and on that I used to make most all of my dining decisions.”

  4. Ellis Fernandez says

    Love this site.

    Need the ability to log on (and find it easily) on the first page and then, when we log in, have it immediately direct us to OUR home page or profile page.

  5. jen says

    You REALLY need to let customers sort by neighborhood/location like we used to be able to. It is so frustrating to use now.. I would rather go to yelp and just call the restaurants!

  6. says

    Hey folks: Wanted to share an update after your very helpful comments and feedback — we are flattered by the positive feedback, and in the one negative mark we’ve seen (some here), we’re indeed looking to add back the functionality to re-order results in an upcoming release.

    We have found that most users do prefer to use the features on left-hand Narrow Results area to achieve a similar objective (by checking/unchecking your desired neighborhoods in and out of the results). We hope you find those features helpful in the meantime along with the other upgrades the page offers. That said, we respect the familiarity of the former approach and are working diligently to provide it in a way that does not risk losing the benefits and ease-of-use of the new approach. Thanks again for your help in making our site great!

  7. Jason says

    Overall, the new site looks great, but PLEASE bring back the ability to sort results by neighborhood. It was the easiest way to manage 700+ results for dinner options in nyc on a given night. The new method of having to click which neighborhoods to include is very tedious.

  8. Paul Crisp says

    OpenTable is a fantastic resource for overseas visitors and I’ve used it a lot to make restaurant bookings in, for instance, San Diego and New York. It does have one quirk, however, which makes the reservation process a little bit more of a hassle – it won’t accept telephone numbers in international format. Logically, the number I should leave is my cell phone. This would have to have the format +44 nnnn nnnnnn. I can’t put this in, so I have to try to find the phone number of the hotel I’m staying in – or make something up.

    Come on guys – a tiny adjustment here would make the site even more useful..

  9. Jack Shay says

    By the way, as of this month we have re-introduced the ability to re-order by Neighborhood or Cuisine on Search Results. You can click the column headers for that info just as it was presented in the old design. We hope this helps all of those who were looking forward to the return of a classic!

  10. Joel D. says

    Opentable is getting *killed* on some really basic and obvious ease-of-use issues.

    Consider the process for navigating to my neighborhood (On the border between Mountain View and Sunnyvale):

    Step 1) Enter my zipcode at the top of the first page, ONCE. Saved in a cookie, and I’m done – forever

    Step 1) select “San Francisco Bay Area” at the bottom of the third fine-print column of “featured areas”
    Step 2) select “San Jose/Silicon Valley” from the pulldown box
    Step 3) try to “refine search criteria” by selecting “Mountain View”. Oops – it’s not there.
    Step 2a) Hmm. Go back, and try “Penninsula” instead
    Step 3a) now refine the search criteria by selecting “Mountain View” and “Sunnyvale”. Ahh, there’s Mountain View. But where’s Sunnyvale? Oops, I can’t select Sunnyvale, even though it’s a block away, because it’s in the “San Jose/Silicon Valley” area, not the “Penninsula” area – even though it’s only a few blocks away.
    Step 4) Give up (again) on this moronic website and just go use Yelp, Zagat, or even Google mobile, and just book the reservation by phone.

    This is (one example of many) simple and obvious flaws, and it shouldn’t take a frustrated customer to make you aware of them. I get that as a young startup you throw something together, but Opentable has been around a long time, and it’s really puzzling why you’ve put up with such a clumsy design for so long. I think you should consider whether the company has outgrown the skills of whomever is responsible for the website.

  11. says

    Hi there!

    I’m sorry you are inconvenienced by this feature. Believe or not, our testing shows many people prefer this long-standing method to the zip code approach you suggest. I’m happy to report, though, that our team is currently in the process of adding zip-code related features on this page (in addition to our search results where we already have zip code support today).

    Stay tuned!

  12. Alis says

    I love your site and use it all the time to book my restaurant reservations. I would love it if you could add a “Prix Fixe” category that I could click and search. There are so many wonderful deals to be found at SF restaurants but you literally have to read the fine print on the menu to figure it out. Why is this such a secret?!?!? Please consider adding this category along with the other basics like: best outdoor dining, atmosphere, etc. I can’t be the only one would would use this.

  13. Lisa says

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back the ability to sort by several neighborhoods/locations – that was a powerful tool that I used to make my dining decisions. Opentable is useless to me without it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *