As cities begin to reopen and the world adjusts to a new normal of dining, restaurants continue to suffer from the realities of the pandemic. OpenTable data reveals seated diners in the U.S. are still down between 30 and 50 percent year over year, with a predicted 1 in 4 restaurants that will close as a result of COVID-19, putting millions of jobs at risk. There simply is no question that the struggle for the restaurant industry is far from over.
Pricing relief to support our restaurants
At OpenTable, our platform was designed to tackle the very things that make operating increasingly complicated in a pandemic world, like reduced capacity, seat spacing and guest flow. We’re tackling support head on, beginning with extended price cuts through our Open Door program to relieve additional costs to restaurants at this very precarious time. By waiving subscription and cover fees in the U.S., Canada, and other select markets, now through March 31, 2021, the goal is to ease the road to recovery as business returns and capacity readjusts to the new indoor dining restrictions.
New features for restaurants to welcome you back, safely
As they get back to business, restaurants need new and creative ways to drive revenue, often innovating their concepts entirely, redesigning their menus for takeout and delivery, and re-envisioning their curbside or parking lot spaces to create al fresco experiences. Through powering takeout and experiences, OpenTable is giving restaurants the tools they need to pivot with pandemic times, with a focus on the bottom line and revenue generation. By promoting these offerings to the millions of people who book their dining experiences through the site and app each month, restaurants can gain exposure and reach the right customers for their new offerings.
Through OpenTable, restaurants can now add a safety precautions to their profile, sharing what they’re doing to keep diners safe and to maintain a healthy working environment for their staff, like additional cleaning measures, sanitizing between seatings, contactless payment, social distancing via spacing tables, and employees wearing masks. Diners can now review these protocols in advance of their dining experience so they know what to expect when they get to the restaurant.
Whether it’s transitioning outdoors or offsetting rising costs, restaurants need all of our help to survive. People can now book special experiences like a 17-course omakase menu, a patio happy hour, and an outdoor movie night with the family (and pay for it) through OpenTable, thereby helping the restaurant better manage food waste, curb no-shows, and make additional revenue to cover staffing costs.
Standing up for the industry
At the national level, relief can’t come soon enough. The RESTAURANTS Act, a bi-partisan proposal that could give restaurants the lifeline they need through a $120 billion grant program meant to aid independent restaurants with paying rent, employees, and bills, is under review alongside other congressional relief measures. OpenTable is supporting the RESTAURANTS Act because the places we call our homes away from home, the businesses that give our culture character, the settings where life’s moments happen, are in trouble. By sending a pre-written letter to your local representatives, urging them to pass this vital legislation, and then sharing your support on social media, you can join us in doing so.
We’re all in this together, and now more than ever is the time to band together and save the industry we all love. Because a world without restaurants is simply not an option.