Yelp has just acquired SeatMe, an OpenTable-like service which enables customers to make restaurant reservations online. This news comes less than two weeks after Yelp announced its entrance into the food delivery industry.
Clearly, Yelp is determined to extend its reach into local businesses, and SeatMe, which offers tablet management and reservation systems to small restaurants, is one way to do so.
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Yelp states that this deal will enable it to “further enhance the consumer experience by extending the convenience of easy, online reservations directly through Yelp to thousands of currently unserved businesses.”
In other words, with growing competition from competing discovery engines like FourSquare, Yelp is searching for ways to strengthen its relationships with local companies and to “close the loop between local businesses” and Yelp users.
Currently Yelp relies on OpenTable to power its reservation utility, pictured here. Whether or not the SeatMe acquisition will affect Yelp’s relationship with OpenTable has yet to be seen.