OpenTable dominates the market for online restaurant reservations, connecting 15 million diners a month with 32,000 restaurants around the world. After years of rapid growth, how could an industry giant refresh its brand and service offering?
Helping diners make online reservations and restaurateurs fill seats has been key to OpenTable’s success since it first disrupted the restaurant industry in 1998. But the world of restaurants and reviews, and our culinary culture, has changed dramatically since then. New restaurant concepts, more demanding diners – especially Millennials – and rival digital services pose significant challenges in an evolving marketplace.
To position the company for sustained growth in this dynamic and highly competitive environment, OpenTable asked Tomorrow Partners to define a compelling and relevant narrative for the company and to design a new visual identity.
As part of our human-centered design approach, we spoke with a broad spectrum of diners, restaurateurs, and industry experts across the U.S., Europe and Asia. We gained an understanding of different types of diners and their decision-making process when choosing where to dine. We explored how restaurateurs use the OpenTable platform, and identified service design opportunities for OpenTable to significantly increase the value they provide to their restaurant partners. And most importantly, we looked at how the relationship between diner and restaurant could be enhanced by using OpenTable.
Through a series of workshops with OpenTable’s leadership, we recognized the company’s unique position to leverage data that deepens the relationship between diner and restaurant. By shifting focus from transactions – like snagging a hard to get table at a hot restaurant – OpenTable could create a more personalized connection between diner and restaurant, one that leads to more exciting dining experiences.
With its bright color palette and minimalist shapes, the new logo we designed embodies this transformation. Replacing the old logo’s four free-floating discs is a prominent red circle next to a smaller one, symbolizing the connection OpenTable forges between restaurant and diner, and how the platform always puts the customer first to find the perfect fit for a great dining experience.
Our photography style and editorial voice for the brand is warm and welcoming. It reflects a passion for dining and food as a sensory experience, a feast of flavors and tastes enjoyed with friends and relatives. For people photographs, the style is documentary – real people, not models, capturing spontaneous moments of diners taking a bite and committed staff artfully serving a meal. Food photography is always in color, transporting the viewer to the table or the kitchen and conveying the convivial spirit of a restaurant meal and the passion of chefs crafting the perfect dish.
Our collaboration with OpenTable has provided the company with a clear vision for the future and the tools to support the evolution of their brand.