- OpenTable has partnered with ChatGPT, an OpenAI chatbot, via a new plugin to provide restaurant recommendations on OpenTable, according to a company blog post. The feature is part of OpenAI’s experimental launch of plugins, which also include an Instacart extension.
- The integration will roll out over time, starting with a small set of ChatGPT Plus subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, a company spokesperson wrote in an email. After testing, the offering will extend to more consumers.
- OpenTable said it is the first restaurant tech company to partner with ChatGPT. Its sister company, Kayak, is also collaborating with the chatbot to provide flight, hotel and rental car recommendations.
ChatGPT will provide direct links to book on OpenTable in response to consumer queries like “Where’s a highly reviewed brunch spot I can take my mom this Mother’s Day in Charleston?” The chatbot will share up-to-date restaurant information with consumers to help them select a restaurant booking.
“The plugin leverages the same information that powers OpenTable’s search such as restaurants’ profile information, tags, availability and reviews,” Lee said.
ChatGPT’s conversational element differentiates it from more traditional search engine experiences like Google Search, Susan Lee, OpenTable’s chief growth officer, wrote in an email.
“[ChatGPT] allows users to engage more deeply and dynamically,” Lee said. “It’s like asking your best friend for a recommendation, and they do you one better by also sharing availability.”
This integration is part of OpenTable’s strategy to stay on top of the latest search and consumer behavior trends to help diners book restaurant reservations.
“While this is early days, we’re excited to dive into this space and see where it takes us,” Lee said.
OpenTable said the slow rollout of the plugin will allow the company to learn about the chatbot’s real world usage, Lee said.
ChatGPT, which began generating buzz this year after its November launch, can provide helpful tools to restaurants, especially when it comes to generating marketing and social media copy, according to LunchBox. However, ChatGPT isn’t always accurate and can generate wrong answers since it derives responses by making a series of guesses, according to Make Use Of.
OpenTable has added a number tools for consumers and restaurants to improve communication, including a Direct Messaging feature, which was deployed in 2021 to allow customers to contact restaurants before and after making their reservations.