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OpenTable ReOpening Operator Insights

May 14, 2020


As restaurant doors reopen, chefs will be at the stove, people will fill tables (even if they are a few more feet apart), and community will matter more than ever. Whether you’ve been closed for weeks or offering only takeout and delivery, OpenTable is here to help you welcome back guests and rebuild your business.

Set up to reopen
For a successful reopening, you’ll want to make sure your books are open, your staff is ready, and guests know about your offerings and the measures you’re taking to ensure a safe dining environment.

  • Find the tools you need to get back online and offering reservation on OpenTable
  • Adjust your floor plans and table types to accommodate capacity limits and space guidelines per your local regulatory mandates
  • Confirm that your special days, availability, and shift settings are up-to-date
  • Prevent lines by opening an online waitlist that notifies guests when their table is ready
  • Decide which services make sense for your restaurant and delivery or takeout options 
  • Rehire and retrain staff (see educational OpenTable videos and tips, including those on safety and sanitation protocols)
  • Verify user access of technologies and edit or remove if needed

Get the word out
Diners are ready to put their pots and pans away and come back to your restaurant, but they first need to know you’re open. Make it easy for people to discover you and find updated information about your restaurant.

  • Put the word out on social with your digital marketing kit
  • Update your hours of operation, menus, and delivery /takeout information, if anything has changed (see how to update your OpenTable profile) 
  • Customize and resend booking confirmation emails to ensure guests are aware you’re open for business (remember: OpenTable automatically confirms reservations through text and email)  
  • Offer prix-fixe menus or happy hour specials to attract diners
  • Re-engage your regulars by using your downloadable guest list and email integration
  • Attract new guests by offering up to 10X their normal Dining Reward points

Stay on top of guest concerns
Establish clear safety and sanitation procedures and create a safe and welcoming environment by preparing your staff to respond to questions from guests.

  • Use masks and gloves to keep staff and guests safe
  • Be empathetic to guest preferences (e.g. changing seats, avoiding waiting areas, changing dishes or glassware)
  • Share talking points with staff for anticipated questions. Shift notes can keep them top of mind
  • Reduce physical contact with disposable menus and single-use condiments
  • Increase sanitation by creating employee sanitation measures and keeping hand sanitizer at the entrance

Evolve your operations
As your business continues to evolve, your operations and supply chain will likely shift. Keep track of what’s working for you and your peers.

  • Track how you’re doing by looking at your reports in OpenTable
  • Stay updated with government mandates and resources available
  • Contact your vendors and suppliers to let them know of any changes in demand 
  • Continue to learn from peers in the industry (tune in to our weekly In it Together webinars) 
  • Consider adding additional revenue streams such as meal kits, takeout, delivery, and grocery items

The state of the restaurant industry
As cities, states and countries begin to reopen their doors, understand how the industry is beginning to rebound. We’ve summarized week-over-week data from restaurants on our platform and update it daily.