Mary is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
It was recently announced that OpenTable (NASDAQ: OPEN) would by integrated with Siri in Apple’s iOS 6. This integration has the potential to be a strong catalyst for the company. The integration of the two should drive downloads of OpenTable’s mobile application; combined with recent Google+ integration, this could potentially create high competitive barriers for its peers, despite innovative functionality and more aggressive price points from smaller competitors.
OpenTable is currently the leading provider of online reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants. The company currently has more than 25,000 restaurant customers and has seated more than 325 million diners around the world since its 1998 inception. OpenTable works with hundreds of distribution partners, including Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Menupages, TripAdvisor, Yahoo!, Yelp (NYSE: YELP), and Zagat, as well as local guides and restaurant directories throughout North America and the United Kingdom. These partnerships provide OpenTable with a large and ever-evolving customer base.
OpenTable doesn’t have to deal with much in the way of competition, though any of its partners could develop their own reservations system, pushing OpenTable to the back burner. Yelp, for instance, provides restaurant reviews on its website already. Their reviews are featured on the company's mobile application, but what is to stop Yelp from developing its own reservations system and keeping its reviews to itself? There is always that possibility with these types of partnerships. This is especially the case when dealing with Google, which is constantly trying to outdo its competition. They have a reputation for taking others’ ideas and then trying to take them one step further to make them their own. Their technology doesn’t always catch on, but when it does it is quite popular.
Even with the potential competition in the online reservations industry, OpenTable is clearly the market leader. I have used the service on several occasions and find it user-friendly. The restaurant also has my reservation when I arrive, which is better than can be said for other reservations services, such as Hotels.com. OpenTable has clean, accessible technology, which is proving easy to integrate with other softwares and platforms. This company will likely continue to grow and adds a great technological value to any investor’s portfolio.
MaryPosey has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and has the following options: short OCT 2012 $40.00 calls on OpenTable and long OCT 2012 $40.00 puts on OpenTable. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Google and OpenTable. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.