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Introducing Specials: Attract New Diners By Showcasing Your Signature Dish

Introducing Specials: Attract New Diners By Showcasing Your Signature Dish

You know you have the best burger in town. Do diners?

Today, we at OpenTable are excited to announce that we’re piloting a new feature in Baltimore called Specials, the best way to promote a signature dish or an entire meal. Baltimore restaurants can now list special menus, dishes, and pairings on OpenTable at a great price point so diners can easily discover their dishes. It’s a great way to fill more tables and wow guests with what you do best.

“Of course I signed up for OpenTable specials — it seemed a straightforward way to get strong ROI for my business,” said Alan Hirsch, General Manager at Cosima, one of the restaurants in our pilot. “Promoting our unique specials and signature dishes to diners right at the time when they’re deciding where and what to eat is a powerful marketing lever.”

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This Week in Restaurant News: Shake Shack World, Restaurant Blogs, How Tech Disrupted Silicon Valley Restaurants

Every week we’re rounding up some of our favorite articles with trends and tidbits from the world of restaurants. Tell us: what made your reading list this week?

How Tech Companies Disrupted Silicon Valley’s Restaurant SceneThe New York Times

It’s Shake Shack’s World, You’re Just Eating In It — Eater

How Restaurant Blogs Redefined Dining Forever — Grub Street

*Whispers* Listen to How Crispy This Fried Chicken Sounds — Food52

3 Ways Restaurants Are Blowing It With Email Marketing [Infographic] — The Rail

Seeing the Beauty in ‘Ugly’ Produce — Restaurant Hospitality

The Touchscreen Will Take Your Order NowThe Wall Street Journal

The Magnificent 10: Restaurants That Changed How We EatThe New York Times

The Most Innovative Women in Food and DrinkFood & Wine

Survey: Predictive Ordering Appeals to Operators — Nation’s Restaurant News

In Memoriam: Dorothy Cann Hamilton — The James Beard Foundation… Read more

Tech & Hospitality: What ‘Hi-Tech for Hi-Touch’ Means in 2016

Team OpenTable is heading to New York next week for the second annual TechTable Summit, a day of panels and discussions bringing together leaders in the hospitality, technology, and investment communities. The goal? Creating conversations, forging connections, and discovering solutions to benefit “hi-tech for hi-touch.”

OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles will join an all-star lineup of speakers from companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Instagram, plus smaller food brands such as Smitten Ice Cream and San Francisco’s Souvla. Joined by James Liakakos, Vice President of Operations for Jean Georges Management LLC, she’ll share insights about how data from OpenTable’s network can help create better experiences for restaurants and diners alike.

Ahead of the conference, we talked to three TechTable founders: Lauren Hobbs, Director of Marketing at Union Square Hospitality Group; Jaci Badzin, formerly in marketing for Google and Nike; and Camilla Marcus, an angel investor who previously served as Director of Business Development for USHG. Read on for their take on the intersection of hospitality and technology today: where we’ve been, how the landscape is evolving, and what’s yet to unfold.… Read more

How to Open a Restaurant in…Minneapolis

How to Open a Restaurant in…Minneapolis

These days, when you read about the best restaurants in America, Minneapolis is a locale that comes up often. Gone are the days when the city was known solely for the Mall of America and its bitterly cold weather. Minneapolis is a veritable food destination—as vibrant as New York or Los Angeles, but often a lot more affordable. It’s never been a better time to open a restaurant in the Twin Cities.

Why Minneapolis? 

Minneapolis has recently experienced an explosion in its food scene: with the growing diversity of the population as well as an influx of Fortune 500 companies, the city is teeming with eager, open-minded diners, and chefs looking to push the envelope. Minneapolis is already home to some of the largest concert halls, convention centers, and sports venues in the country, and now that its dining culture is on the rise, “It’s just one of those cities that continues to be on everyone’s radar,” says Gavin Kaysen, chef of Spoon and Stable.

Next to its midwestern counterparts, Minneapolis is, according to restaurateur Brent Frederick, a unique melting pot of restaurants. “You can pick any kind of concept, and as long as you do it well, you have the opportunity to succeed.” This is largely due to the community, which Corner Table owner Nick Rancone says is the most supportive he has ever seen of restaurants. “For anyone who wants to come in and do something that they really believe in, it’s a great place to do it because you’re going to connect with an excited group of people.”

As a bonus, Kaysen says that Minneapolis does not have the kind of permitting and licensing roadblocks that many other places face, as the city is actively supporting the growth of the restaurant scene (though Rancone adds that a couple of very residential areas do not give out liquor licenses at all).… Read more