OpenTable (OPEN) Wants to Make Paying the Check Easier by TechStockProspector

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OpenTable, the restaurant reservation service, is in the testing phase with a mobile payments feature

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									                                   Robert DeFrancesco’s
                           Tech-Stock Prospector
October 23, 2013

OpenTable (OPEN) Wants to Make Paying the Check Easier

OpenTable (OPEN, $69.45) is trying to make the end of the meal as efficient as the
reservation process by enabling restaurant patrons to more easily pay the check.

The company in June made a tech & talent acquisition, paying $11 million for
JustChalo, a developer of mobile apps. The JustChalo team is now working on an
app-based payment solution that will be integrated into the OpenTable network.

The goal is to allow patrons to access and pay their checks directly from their
mobile devices. Diners may even be able to split checks across different devices.

OpenTable would integrate its Rewards program into the payments app, enabling
diners to apply outstanding credits to the bill.

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Currently in the testing phase across 20 restaurants, OpenTable plans to roll out a
payments pilot in San Francisco by the end of the year.

For this whole payments offering to take off for OpenTable, a good number of
restaurants would first need to adopt the solution, and then see significant usage by
patrons. This could be a long process; there’s no guarantee of broad traction out of
the gate.

At this point, OpenTable sees check settlement as a strategic initiative, so it won’t
take a cut of any transaction fees, but I bet this could change if the payments
segment really takes off.

Since our Tech-Stock Prospector article on OpenTable in August 2012 (TSP #126),
the stock has risen 75%. At the time, I wrote OpenTable was reaping the benefits of
its expanding base of mobile users, and this is still the case today: In Q2, 38% of the
company’s seated diners in North America made their reservations on mobile
devices, up from 28% in the year-ago quarter.
OpenTable reports Q3 results on November 5.
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