As we informed our Chicago-based restaurant customers last week, we learned that a rogue OpenTable employee had made a few hundred false reservations at 45 Chicago restaurants using a competitor’s platform. We quickly investigated, confirmed this employee had acted alone and terminated the employee within 48 hours. The former employee was not in a sales function and had no managerial duties.
On behalf of OpenTable, I extend our sincerest apologies to the restaurant community in Chicago and to Reserve for this disgraceful, unsanctioned behavior.
This behavior goes against everything we stand for. Our culture and values at OpenTable are founded on the principle of integrity, and that absolutely encompasses how we embrace competition in the marketplace. The only reason we exist is to help restaurants grow. When they succeed, we succeed. Taking any action that puts restaurants in harm is a direct attack on us as well.
As in any restaurant that makes a mistake, the first rule of hospitality is to make it right with the customer. And we intend to do the same. As a result, we have already begun outreach to the restaurants affected and will reimburse them for lost revenue.
At OpenTable, we believe that it is our responsibility to help build awareness of the impact of no-shows, which made this egregious behavior by a former OpenTable employee all the more painful.
This action absolutely does not reflect our mission of helping restaurants grow and thrive, and we will continue to work hard to earn the trust and respect of the OpenTable community every day.