OpenTable, the giant of the reservation system industry, confirmed it fired an employee who made several hundred bookings at restaurants using the rival service Reserve.
45 Restaurants in Chicago have been affected by the employee’s plan to harm Reserve and convince its customers OpenTable offered better service.
As reported by ‘Eater Chicago’, Reserve and several restaurant workers allege that the employee – who remains unnamed – intended to use the number of no-shows in the sales pitches and persuade Reserve customers to switch to OpenTable.
By creating multiple email accounts, the OpenTable employee made 300 hundreds fake reservations over a period of 3 months. This started last December and peaked on Valentine’s Day, one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants.
While restaurants had been experiencing an unusual increasing number of no-shows, Reserve’s software engineers noticed suspicious activities in mid-February. They then started an investigation that led them to OpenTable.
Open Table holds the rogue employee had acted alone and claims to reimburse the restaurants for lost revenue.