Airbnb Partners With Restaurant Reservation Company to Challenge Open Table

Another innovator in the food space, believe it or not, is now— Airbnb.

Last year, Foodable reported on how the company that revolutionized the hospitality industry announced to expand its scope with their ‘Experiences’ feature by allowing guests to “book tours, dance scenes, and outdoor activities.”

Airbnb revealed last year its partnership with reservation startup Resy to figure out a way to facilitate restaurant guest bookings for their traveling customers during their trips.

Well, it's now official, their idea came to fruition earlier this month when the $31 billion travel planning company announced it will now offer restaurant reservations from within its app to help travelers find the best restaurants in the cities they are visiting.

"This is a major traveler pain point,” said Joe Zadeh, Airbnb’s director of Trips to Forbes. “Most people know the restaurants in their own city, but when they travel throughout the world they don’t know what are the best restaurants to eat at."

Offering a curated restaurant list is the main differentiator between Airbnb and Resy’s service in comparison to OpenTable and other restaurant reservation apps.

"I’ve never thought that the answer in terms of discovering cities and discovering restaurants is to put all of the restaurants in one place. The answer is to put the best restaurants in one place," said Ben Leventhal, CEO of Resy to Forbes. "If you look at the Resy app, you’re never going to see more than a fraction of a couple hundred restaurants versus an OpenTable or a Yelp where you’ll see thousands and thousands."

Currently, this new restaurant booking feature will only be available for customers traveling in the US.

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Not Just a Homestay: How Airbnb Could Expand to Restaurants

Today's consumer is moving at one-click speeds. From online grocery shopping to a personal Uber chauffeur at the press of the button, errands and desires are met with instant gratification. This extended to travel, when online rental marketplace Airbnb revolutionized the hospitality industry by allowing consumers to host visitors looking for hotel alternatives.

Despite being known as a lodging service, in the future, will we be seeing restaurant hosts as well as homestay hosts on Airbnb? The company announced that it plans on expanding its scope with its new feature, "Experiences." Appropriately named, as it is meant to provide travelers the ultimate experience of the city they're exploring. Users won't just be able to book a room — they'll be able to book tours, dance scenes, and outdoor activities, too.

Its app, organized into "Experiences," "Places," and "Homes," also highlights the "Trips" program, which boasts more than 500 things to do across 12 cities worldwide, including Tokyo, Seoul, London, Paris, and Los Angeles. 

"We are taking a new approach with Experiences, which is people apply, and are embedded before they go live, and guidance is given," Airbnb Co-Founder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk told Forbes. "We really want to make sure that these are set up for success from the beginning."

But that's not all. Soon Airbnb wants to take on other sectors, such as car booking and grocery delivery. The $30-billion company even partnered with reservation startup Resy, sketching out a future roadmap to allow guests to book restaurant visits during their trips, as well.

Rooms, recreation, and restaurants? These moves are truly positioning Airbnb as the premier tourist venture. Will it be successful in curating the perfect itinerary or will all these efforts show Airbnb is biting off more than it can chew? Read More