- OpenTable has expanded its Safety Precautions feature to include vaccine requirements at restaurants, according to a company blog post.
- Diners can view these measures by clicking on a restaurant's profile page on the app or website and scrolling down to the Safety Precautions section, which will also show measures such as sanitizers or wipes provided to customers, contactless payment options, limited seating and masks worn by waitstaff.
- The reservation platform has also added features such as a virtual waitlist, Open Near Me tool and reopening heat maps to help restaurants and diners navigate the pandemic, according to a press release.
OpenTable's vaccine feature follows the launch of a similar offering at Yelp. Restaurants across the country, including in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C, are increasingly requiring customers to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors due to the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant. New York City will start requiring patrons to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors later this month, with enforcement beginning in September.
OpenTable will also roll out a list of U.S. restaurants that are currently requiring proof of vaccination, which could make it easier for patrons to pick and choose the restaurants they feel most comfortable eating at.
These features follow OpenTable's efforts to curb no-show reservations and to help restaurants be more communicative with diners. Earlier this month, it added a direct messaging feature that allows diners to chat with restaurants before and after making a reservation. Using this feature, customers can ask questions about the restaurant, such as safety precautions, which could help clear up any potential confusion over what is needed to dine safely.
Providing customers with easy-to-view information about safety precautions could also help restaurants avoid awkward circumstances in which diners may refuse to show proof of vaccination. Thirty percent of diners have already said they would leave a restaurant if they are asked to show proof of vaccination, according to Datassential.