Fascinating look at the relationship between OpenTable and restaurants, from restauranteur Mark Pastore:
The access fees can be substantial, particularly for restaurants
operating on thin margins. One independent study estimates that
OpenTable’s fees (comprised of startup fees, fixed monthly fees,
and per-person reservation fees) translate to a cost of roughly
$10.40 for each “incremental” 4-top booked through
OpenTable.com. To put that in perspective, consider that the
average profit margin, before taxes, for a U.S. restaurant is
roughly 5%. This means that a table of 4 spending $200 on dinner
would generate a $10 profit. In this example, all of that profit
would then go to OpenTable fees for having delivered the
reservation, leaving the restaurant with nothing other than the
hope that that customer would come back (and hopefully book by
telephone the next time).
In short, restaurants pay a lot for each reservation booked through OpenTable.