Holy City Hospitality Snubs OpenTable

Diners interested in checking out the pair of new restaurants from Holy City Hospitality won’t have any luck securing a reservation through OpenTable: Vincent Chicco’s and Michael’s on the Alley are among the first upscale restaurants on the peninsula to handle their table assignments exclusively through a Yelp subsidiary.

Yelp last summer announced the purchase of SeatMe, an iPad-based system launched in 2011. Unlike OpenTable, SeatMe charges a flat $99 monthly fee instead of $1-$2.50 per cover.

“OpenTable is very expensive, and there is a fee for each reservation made,” explains assistant general manager Whitney Standish, who’s an unqualified fan of the service. “SeatMe works just as well and is super easy to navigate.”

While restaurateurs have long complained about OpenTable’s pricing structure, it has successfully fended off challenges from competing sites such as RezMe, City Eats and EZTABLE. Its dominance is based largely on its reach: More than 30,000 restaurants are registered with the online reservation service, giving diners the widest range of options.

SeatMe, for example, doesn’t allow users to search a city for available tables on a given evening or rack up rewards points to redeem at other restaurants.

Still, industry analysts last July predicted the sale could dent OpenTable’s preeminence: OpenTable’s stock price dipped seven percent after the sale was announced.

Although Holy City Hospitality hasn’t yet extended SeatMe to 39 Rue de Jean, the company is clearly in the system’s corner:

“It hasn’t let us down, thus far,” Standish says.

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