You may have seen Livebookings, Europe's largest online restaurant reservation service provider, seated next to OpenTable, their American equivalent, at the 2011 NRA Show in Chicago. That may be the last time they sit comfortably at the same table.
Both OpenTable and Livebookings currently have a monthly fee plus “dollar-per-diner” business model. Today, Livebookings launched “Freebookings” in the United States—a watered-down model of their restaurant reservation service—for no cost to the restaurant or customer.
And just in time for the holiday season.
Freebookings boasts several features it calls unique. Including:
- The same online restaurant reservation software plugin can be added to both the restaurant's website and its Facebook page.
- The control panel can be accessed by any web-enabled device (computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.)
- Customers do not have to register to use the service.
- Did we mention it's free?
The goal is for those free users to get comfortable, grow their business and want more functionality, for which they'd have to pay.
The question in everybody’s mind now is: How will Google respond?