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Yelp buys OpenTable competitor SeatMe

Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO and Director of Yelp. Photo: Russell Yip/The Chronicle

Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO and Director of Yelp. Photo: Russell Yip/The Chronicle

Big San Francisco tech news came out today, and it’s relevant to the restaurant world: Yelp is buying SeatMe, the 2-year-old restaurant reservations start-up that is also based in the city.

Like UrbanSpoon’s Rezbook, SeatMe was conceived as a challenger to the online reservations monopoly that OpenTable has boasted for years. SeatMe’s main pitch to restaurants? It’s much cheaper than OpenTable, with no initial set-up fee (compared to OpenTable’s $650), no per-diner cover fee (compared to OpenTable’s $1-$2.50), and a flat rate that is half of Opentable’s ($99 versus $199).

Local restaurants on SeatMe include 1601 Bar Kitchen, Comal, Hi Lo BBQ, Hopscotch and Roxy’s Cafe, among others. There are only about 15 San Francisco restaurants currently listed; by comparison, OpenTable has over 1300 San Francisco restaurants.

For the last three years or so, Yelp has featured OpenTable reservation widgets in its individual restaurant listings.

Yelp founder/CEO Jeremy Stoppelman detailed the impetus for the move on the company blog:

By bringing SeatMe to Yelp, we can further enhance the consumer experience by extending the convenience of easy, online reservations directly through Yelp to thousands of currently unserved businesses. This follows nicely on our recently announced Yelp Platform, which is currently launching with the ability to order food delivery or pick-up on Yelp business pages through our partners Eat24 and

TechCrunch reports the deal was worth $12.7 million.


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Mystic Maggie

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