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OpenTable sees mobile payments on the horizon, first in San Francisco

Zachary Lutz

Adventurous foodies are likely familiar with the concept of snout to tail dining, which incorporates the entire animal -- even the exotic bits -- into recipes that stray from the norm. Soon enough, OpenTable may offer a different take on start-to-finish dining by incorporating payments into its restaurant reservation platform. The system is said to still be in testing, which would require that diners merely open the OpenTable app, select a tip amount and hit the payment button. As a boon to restaurant owners, OpenTable isn't planning on taking a cut from the transaction; instead, it's looking to attract and retain users, and perhaps stay ahead of emerging competitors such as Groupon and Yelp. According to The New York Times, OpenTable will use an in-house payment system that it acquired this year from JustChalo. If all goes well, the new feature will be introduced to San Francisco by year's end, with other markets to follow. Apparently, OpenTable is still hammering out its notification system, so as to avoid unpleasant scenarios such as accusing paying customers of skipping out on the bill.

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