When the Priceline Group acquired OpenTable for $2.6 billion in 2014, officials said the deal would enable the U.S.-oriented restaurant reservations platform to get more global.
While progress has been relatively slow — and there was a CEO change at OpenTable along the way in 2015 — it appears as though that globalization effort is gaining momentum.
OpenTable announced Tuesday that users can now book reservations for the 38,000 restaurants in its global network in one multilanguage app that supports English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese. Previously, OpenTable had country-specific apps; if you used the U.S. app you couldn’t book restaurants abroad, so it wasn’t useful while traveling, although you could book restaurants in other countries on the OpenTable website.
“So Paris is currently a meaningful example as a traveler from French Canada who is traveling abroad, for example,” says an OpenTable spokesperson. “Another scenario is, if you’re from the U.S. and traveling to Tokyo, you can now book a restaurant in Tokyo in the English language/your preferred language. You wouldn’t need the Japanese version of the app to discover, book, and manage your reservation in that corresponding country.”
The rival TripAdvisor app, meanwhile, is a global app and enables users to book restaurants where its The Fork unit operates. The app defaults to the user’s home language. The Fork’s mobile website, meanwhile, defaults to the local IP.
OpenTable’s website, though, enables user to book in the five languages it supports.
“The global booking functionality is new for OpenTable, allowing diners to search, discover and make reservations at restaurants across the globe in their local language,” the spokesperson says.