OpenTable to Power Reservations on Foodporn, Acquires Rezbook System

Reservation powerhouse OpenTable will now provide restaurant reservations for one of its biggest competitors, Foodporn, which started blogging about food in 1997, announced this afternoon that it will “partner” with the restaurant reservation service, allowing OpenTable to power its on-site reservations. As part of the deal, OpenTable will acquire the site’s Rezbook reservation system, which was launched in 2010 as a more affordable alternative for restaurants setting up reservations systems online.

Many big-name restaurants, including NYC’s Le Cirque and SF’s Incanto, currently use the Rezbook service. According to the press release, some 2,000 restaurants currently using Rezbook will join the 20,000 restaurants under the OpenTable umbrella. OpenTable says it will continue to honor existing Rezbook contracts (including the Rezbook pricing), but Rezbook will not be available for new customers.

For the past few years, OpenTable’s costly fees have come under fire from several restaurant owners; according to one report, it can cost a restaurant as much as $5 each time a table for two is booked through the OpenTable service. Foodporn’s Rezbook launched with a significantly reduced monthly fee ($99 versus $270 on OpenTable, on average) and provided its services off an iPad, as opposed to custom hardware required by OpenTable.

OpenTable is now an even more dominant player in the online restaurant reservations game. Other competitors in the space include Livebookings, UReserve, and Scripps Networks’ CityEats (which just launched a Chicago edition today). Back in 2010, OpenTable partnered with Yelp to offer reservations directly from restaurants’ Yelp pages. But earlier this month Yelp announced the acquisition of SeatMe, a low-cost OpenTable competitor. As noted in that press release, the OpenTable agreement could “restrict its ability to fully integrate SeatMe.” Developing.