In a move that is entirely unsurprising — except for how long it took — Foursquare announced it will be partnering with OpenTable to enable restaurant reservations.
With Foursquare’s update to its recommendation engine being pushed through just yesterday, you’re more likely to discover locations you’d like to visit and eat at based on the places that your Foursquare friends have been frequenting. Today, once you’ve discovered an intriguing restaurant through Foursquare’s “Explore” tab and would like to make a dinner reservation, you can do so simply through the newly implemented “Make a Reservation” button that you’ll find on the venue’s Foursquare page.
You’ll only see the feature if the venue is an OpenTable participating partner, of course. But provided the vendor works with the platform, you simply select “Make a Reservation,” and OpenTable branded page opens up from within the Foursquare app, where you can then select the date, time, and number of guests. After selecting “Find a Table” on the same page, Foursquare will display the number of stars OpenTable users have allotted the restaurant and other details including location and average costs provided. You’ll also notice that a Google map of the location is included at the bottom of the same page. To finalize the reservation, you’re prompted to sign into your OpenTable account, so you’ll either need to be an existing member or register in order to use the new feature.
There’s one caveat that we’ve had with the new tool, and it’s simply a user experience detail that might bother a few of you. We opened up the OpenTable branded page and proceeded to select the app’s reviews section about the restaurant in question. But when we wanted to return to the previous page, we were unable to — you essentially get stuck. We were instead redirected to the restaurant’s Foursquare page. Of course this is just a minor inconvenience and shouldn’t prove to be too cumbersome, but it’s a detail worth noting.
The OpenTable partnership is admittedly convenient for regular Foursquare users and gets rid of the need to make phone calls, especially when attempting to get in touch with a busy restaurant or trying to multitask. But Foursquare isn’t the first to work with the reservation service: Yelp has been working with OpenTable to enable online reservations since 2010.
It’s obvious that Foursquare has its sights set on further competing with Yelp, and the new partnership was a clear and necessary way to further challenge Yelp’s dining review and reservation dominance.