What You Can Do When a Restaurant Isn’t on OpenTable

what-to-do-when-a-restaurantIt doesn’t happen terribly often – but it happens. You’re searching for a particular restaurant on OpenTable, and you discover that they’re not part of the OpenTable network. Quelle horreur! If you’re like me, you probably just find somewhere else to dine (I seriously cannot live without OpenTable’s automated email invitations and reminders. If they didn’t send them to me, I know I’d be a no-show offender!). I wondered what other diners do – so I asked our Facebook fans to chime in.

Turns out, many folks also love the convenience of OpenTable. In our 2009 Diner’s Choice Survey, 79% of OpenTable diners cited the ease of making a reservation and of coordinating plans with others as among the reasons they prefer reserving online rather than using the telephone.” Michele Stanley says, “I very rarely dine somewhere that isn’t on OpenTable…. There are a lot of restaurants on OpenTable that I have never tried, so to me I have plenty of options.” Frequent traveler  (and fan of our Dining Rewards Program) James Bowler says that if a restaurant isn’t on OpenTable, “I don’t eat there; as a road warrior with an expense account, OT is free money.” Diner Sunny Drohan admits she’ll go to off-network restaurants, but, she says, “I always ask why they aren’t on OpenTable. I am pitching them all the time.”

If you’ve got your heart set on a particular place that’s not on OpenTable, you’re probably forced to pick up the phone and make a reservation the old-fashioned way. Is there a way to avoid this in the future? Yes! First, you can politely tell the reservationist and/or host that you were hoping the restaurant was on OpenTable, as some of our diners do. Next, you can suggest restaurants (and additional metropolitan areas) where you would like to use OpenTable to reserve tables online. Just visit www.OpenTable.com, select a metropolitan area, and use the “Suggest a New Restaurant” link located below the “Just Added” list of new OpenTable partner restaurants in that area. The more suggestions we get, the more likely you are to find that restaurant on OpenTable in the future.