Merchant Innovation

Yelp Moves Toward Direct Competition With Restaurant Reservation Sites

TripAdvisor and OpenTable beware, Yelp is releasing a new service that may soon be cutting into both companies consumer base. Yelp Reservations will allow customers to book a reservation directly from an eatery’s Yelp business listing on their mobile device or computer. Additionally, users will also receive a reminder of their reservation via text which gives them the further option to cancel or modify a reservation, also with a simple text message.

“Yelp is not just about discovering great local businesses, it also helps consumers transact with these businesses without ever leaving the site,” the company wrote in a blog post. “As more restaurants take advantage of this new free tool, expect to see many more options when looking to make an online reservation on Yelp.”

This new venture is not Yelp’s first crack at a reservation service, the company currently has the YelpSeatMe program, however, that program is more focused on larger and more established restaurants. This program gives smaller and newer players a chance at additional exposure to the app. Yelp is also joining a field that is already crowded, and could become more so if Google uses its new acquisition of website design company Appetas last week. That aquisition could allow the search giant to both change how eating establishments are displayed on its site and also allow future reservation taking and making functionality.

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