OpenTable Offers Meals at 30 Percent Off for $10 Fee

OpenTable will now offer Groupon-like discounts for people who book discounted dinner reservations through its site.

The publicly held company, which seats more than seven million diners every month, has partnered with a company called Savored.

Savored, which was previously called VillageVines, believes it has a solution for restaurants that like the idea of filling empty tables but are terrified at what a coupon deal might do to everyday business.

OpenTable has already begun working with daily deal providers such as San Francisco’s TownHog to provide discount offerings, but this works a little differently.

Savored gives people 30 percent off their dinners when they pay $10 upfront, unlike the typical daily deal, which gives people $30 for $15, or about half off. Diners must pay upfront and book a reservation at a specific time to receive the discount.

High-end restaurants, which may normally be afraid to offer blanket discounts, can designate the available times based on regular lulls.

The program debuts today on the San Francisco Bay Area homepage of OpenTable and will expand to other U.S. markets over time.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik