The number brings OpenTable closer to rival review site Yelp’s 30 million reviews in 8 years. According to VentureBeat, OpenTable has, on the surface, collected user-generated restaurant reviews at roughly the same pace as Yelp, but that these reviews are likely of higher-quality, because on OpenTable, “only people whose restaurant visits have been confirmed are eligible to review.”
In an age when user-generated content continues to create an impact on consumer behavior – and when online reviews have been found to have a direct impact on restaurant bookings – OpenTable hopes to establish itself as one of the largest and most trusted sources for discovering, monitoring, and tracking restaurant reviews.
“Since we launched our reviews program in 2008, restaurant reviews have become an integral part of the dining experience,” said Ann Shepherd, senior vice president of marketing at OpenTable. “For a growing number of people, the experience of dining out now starts with consulting our trusted online consumer reviews to find the perfect spot and culminates with writing a review that will benefit others. The beauty of this virtuous cycle is that it benefits both our diner community and restaurant customers.”
Founded in 1998 in San Francisco, OpenTable currently has more than 20,000 restaurants at which its 350 million users can make reservations. With its free online real-time restaurant reservation service, OpenTable is able to seat 9 million diners every month.
Here are more facts and figures that highlight OpenTable’s growing popularity and influence in the restaurant recommendation and review industry:
- By seating 9 million diners and generating over 450,000 reviews every month, OpenTable is able to record a healthy response rate of approximately 5 percent.
- OpenTable features Diners’ Choice Lists that cover more than 25 categories and 100 different metropolitan areas.
- The metro area with the most OpenTable restaurant reviews over time is the New York Tri-state area, with 2.46 million reviews generated so far; this is followed by the San Francisco Bay Area’s 1.65 million reviews.
- 49 percent of OpenTable diners say that they have booked an out-of-town reservation.
- To keep the reviews fresh, OpenTable only displays reviews written in the last 120 days. After that the reviews are added to the site’s archive of 15 million reviews.
To celebrate the milestone, OpenTable released the below infographic, which shows restaurant review trends and behavior since the launch of its review program in November 2008: