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The dining discounts that travelers can now make through TripAdvisor because of its LaFourchette acquisition are mobile, compelling and undoubtedly of keen interest to its rival, The Priceline Group, which plans to wed OpenTable within a few months. Restaurants are only part one of TripAdvisor’s dream to get very mobile in its in-destination offerings.
That was faster than ordering and receiving French Fries at McDonald’s.
After completing its acquisition of European restaurant reservations company LaFourchette, which operates TheFork.com, TripAdvisor’s iOS and Android updates in early July now enables users to access discounts on their restaurant meals and to reserve a table through the app at restaurants in countries such as France, Spain and parts of Belgium and Switzerland.
TripAdvisor is trying to turn itself into an indispensable resource for travelers and locals looking to book activities — in this case restaurants — on their mobile devices in vacation or business destinations or at home, and the LaFourchette mobile integration fits right into this strategy.
TripAdvisor is apparently starting this drive with restaurants, with a ramping up of its capabilities in the tours and activities sphere to follow.
For example, when using the TripAdvisor Hotels Flights Restaurants apps, and searching for restaurants in Paris, France, travelers and locals can make a straightforward reservation after selecting a date and available times at the Ristorante Italiano 0039.
Optionally, users can reserve a table at the same restaurant with a 30% discount off the meal, excluding set menus and drinks.
Similarly, TripAdvisor users could book a reservation at La Era Restaurante in Madrid and sample a tasting menu for 55 euros per person, including drinks and taxes. The discount was available through TripAdvisor’s iOS app, but wasn’t shown on TripAdvisor.com.
The mobile reservations are powered by TheFork.com (LaFourchette), which sends confirmations within minutes via text or email.
As you can see above, It is also simple to cancel the reservation, if necessary.
A TripAdvisor spokesperson says that travelers can also enter preferred dining times, and then the TripAdvisor app displays a list of restaurant possibilities and their availability based on these preferences.”
TripAdvisor implemented some of these capabilities from LaFourchette on the desktop from its city pages on TripAdvisor.com several weeks ago.
The company still uses OpenTable for standard dining reservations in the U.S. and some other geographies that LaFourchette doesn’t yet operate in. TripAdvisor has partnered with OpenTable since 2010.
A TripAdvisor partnership with LaFourchette pre-dates the May acquisition, but the inclusion of special offers in the TripAdvisor apps comes with updates in early July.
TripAdviosr thus has a headstart on the Priceline Group, which is awaiting the closing of its pending $2.6 billion acquisition of OpenTable later this year.