The Pandora's Box: Soliciting Feedback on Open Table and Groupon


Last week I reentered the FohBoh Blogsphere with this post in a somewhat disguised attempt to elicit operator feedback about the value to the industry of the services provided by two companies:  Open Table (already public) and Groupon (filed to go public).  Rather than open a "Pandora's Box"  (I promise my last attempt to be cute) and somehow relate yesterday's IPO of internet radio pioneer Pandora to our industry let me get straight to the point.   It's my belief after several decades in Silicon Valley that investors who buy these IPO's buy on the perception that customer value is real and in some sense will grow exponentially and perhaps forever.   The long-term business risks are unknown, the profit drivers volatile and the valuation models extreme.


In contrast, the restaurant industry relies on customer satisfaction to build traffic and to provide insight into needed changes in operations.  Restaurant customer feedback comes from traditional sources like comment cards, secret shopper reports or more recently and relevantly on the social web:  FaceBook, Twitter, FourSquare, Yelp, and a list of other sites a mile long.  Our expertise at FohBoh includes an ability to harvest, analyze and recommend action based on near-real-time customer feedback.


However, the real point of this (and last week's) post is to focus on online service providers who focus on the restaurant industry--starting with Open Table and Groupon.   Our members can and should be the sounding board as to how well these companies are delivering on their promise.  We believe that the same tools that serve our members (the social web) should be available to service providers in the industry.  So let's begin the conversation!


For Open Table

  • Does the service bring new and repeat business?
  • Is the service fairly priced--both per reservation and monthly serviced?
  • Is the company easy to do business with?
  • Are there real competitors?
  • Are you a loyal customer?



For Groupon

  • Does the service bring new business?
  • Do loyal customers take advantage of the deals?
  • How are the "deals" structured--does the sales rep help guide you through the process?
  • Is the company easy to do business with?
  • Are there better deal channels?
  • Will you continue to offer "Groupons"?



Inquiring Minds Want to Know!!!



Views: 15

Tags: Groupon, IPO, Open Table, Pandora, competition, customer, customer satisfaction, deals, digital media, online services, More…restaurant, restaurant finance, retail, service, service providers, social, social media, valuation, value proposition


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service