Introducing the New OpenTable Restaurant Resources Site + Blog

MKT-OpenforBusiness-black-userAt OpenTable, we’re ringing in 2015 with some exciting new projects and resources for restaurants. Here’s a peek at what we have now, and what’s still to come.

Our new restaurant site tells you everything you need to know about working with OpenTable, starting with an overview of our key solutions for running a restaurant: Guest Center, Payments, and Copilot insights, to name a few. You’ll also find customer success stories, an ROI calculator to help you measure success, and an introduction to the team behind the products and services. Existing customers can sign in to manage their accounts, too.

Plus, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new restaurant blog, Open for Business! Here, we’re turning our attention to the business behind “the business,” featuring tips, tricks, and fresh ideas from top restaurateurs, editors, and experts on how to run a restaurant successfully. Since we’re proud to partner with the best restaurants in the industry, we want to share their knowledge and expertise and start new conversations within this community — from hiring great staff and tracking food cost to building an international restaurant empire. Here’s what you’ll find:

Ruth Reichl on What Restaurants Should Know About Food Critics (& How to Spot One): An interview with author and former restaurant critic Ruth Reichl about what makes great service, dealing with negative reviews, and how to spot a critic.

How to Open a Restaurant, Part 1: Building a Brand Identity: Restaurant consultant Alison Arth has led 13 restaurant openings to date and is currently working with Gavin Kaysen’s team at Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis. This is her first post in a 10-part series of best practices for launching a new concept.

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Post-Sandy Restaurant Recovery Resources from NYC Hospitality Alliance

Post-Sandy scene from lower Manhattan, courtesy of Acqua at Peck Slip.

As New York City restaurants deal with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, they may find themselves overwhelmed by the many steps they need to take to get and keep their doors open. Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, and his team have put together a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute recovery resource guide for restaurateurs.

Rigie, who has been organizing outreach efforts on behalf of the Alliance, says, “Different hospitality businesses have been impacted to different degrees. Business owners are asking what are the resources out there, how can I get back open, what can I do about my insurance claims, and what kinds of loans are available.” This guide lists resources for each of those concerns. The Alliance’s efforts extend beyond the guide, naturally. Because of limited power and cell service in Manhattan, he and his team are using social media to reach restaurateurs in need, as well as pounding the pavement and disseminating information. They are also working to coordinate the efforts of restaurateurs interested in helping to feed the hungry.

Where should a restaurateur begin recovery? “First, safety should be the number one concern,” Rigie cautions restaurant operators. “If you’re concerned about your safety or that of your employees, get in touch with the City for assistance. If you’re not sure how to do that, get in touch with us.” Attention should then turn to food safety precautions and reaching out to insurance brokers, making sure to carefully document damage and file claims correctly.

Even restaurants that have been fully operational for several days are meeting challenges, regarding phone and Internet access, and, also, staffing. “Employees want to work, but it’s been getting difficult for many of them to get to the restaurants,” Rigie notes. “Some businesses are using delivery trucks to pick up employees or are offering to reimburse workers for transportation costs,” until transportation systems are fully restored.

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