Friday, February 15, 2013

Internet: Improving Our Life Style

Last week the U.S. online restaurant reservation service Open Table provided strong numbers. In Q4 2012 their profit rose 7% compared to last year, revenues climbed 16% (reuters). The company collects monthly subscription fees from restaurants plus a fee for each restaurant guest seated through online reservation.

The rising popularity of this Internet service is no surprise. My wife and I use it very often and we don´t have to pay for it. Open Table helps us to find restaurants which is very helpful in Manhattan, a place crowded with dining places, and even more convenient when we travel. With the assistance from Open Table we can easily inquire if a table is available at the favored time, what kind of menu we can expect and how much our meal could cost. Customer reviews give us an impression what quality and ambience we could expect.

Thus we save a lot of time for calling restaurants or waiting in line and we can control our outgoing costs better by comparing different restaurants online. Hence Open Table makes our life easier and helps us to economize our budget.

Restaurants also benefit a lot from Open Table. The company helps them to advertise and to acquire new customers. Online booking also assists eateries to optimize because the reservations gives them an idea how many customer would come at a certain time. Hence they could plan their kitchen staff, food purchases and waiter teams better.

Open Table - and similar services like Yelp (an online urban city guide that helps people find places to eat, shop, drink, relax, and play, () -  are a good example how the Internet improves our life. They all help by reducing costs, raising efficiency & productivity and by generating some additional income for restaurants, hotels, shops and other companies.

I believe that the importance of Open Table & Co. could rise fast because of the mobilization of the Internet. More and more people are using iPhones, iPads and similar devices.  Wherever they are they could gain access to the World Wide Net - and hence to companies like Open Table -  which could animate them to use these services more often. Thus Internet companies will lift the productivity which could give the whole economy a new boost.

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