Airbnb expands into restaurant reservations
- Airbnb has expanded its service to allow users to book restaurant reservations, according to a news post by the company. Users can book tables at 650 restaurants across the U.S. without leaving the Airbnb app or website.
- Airbnb partnered with restaurant-booking app Resy to curate an inventory of restaurants that users can search by cuisine, time of day or location. Airbnb made a $13 million investment in Resy, which will handle the reservations through a "Restaurant" tab on Airbnb's app and website.
- Airbnb says it's working to offer the feature in multiple languages for international guests.
The new feature is Airbnb's attempt to put a dent in the business of OpenTable, the Priceline-owned digital service for booking restaurant reservations in the U.S. Now, Airbnb users can lock in dinner plans on the same platform that they arrange lodging for a trip, staying entirely within the Airbnb ecosystem and providing more customer data. It's just the latest example of how the home-sharing service is quickly expanding into other areas related to travel.
Last fall, Airbnb added a Trips feature designed to serve as a more comprehensive travel planner complete with places and experiences — a cigar-rolling class in Cuba, for example — suggested by locals. Airbnb is also rumored to be working on a flight booking feature, which would make it more competitive with companies like Expedia and Priceline. As Airbnb makes inroads into the flight- and restaurant-booking spaces, both Priceline and Expedia are going on the offensive. Each is pushing into the home-sharing space with inventory that lets consumers rent rooms in a home as easily as they would for a hotel — a model that cribs from Airbnb's.
Airbnb has experienced strong growth since its 2008 launch and proved to be incredibly disruptive to the hotel industry. Improvements to its mobile and digital offerings like better browsing, booking and mobile payment options, coupled with the new travel features, have continued to position it as an industry leader. But as top competitors follow suit and the market grows increasingly crowded, Airbnb must continue to innovate to sustain its growth, especially as it has hinted at a potential IPO sometime in the near future.
- Airbnb Newsroom Airbnb and Resy Team Up to Offer In-App Restaurant Reservations
- Marketing Dive Airbnb tailors custom travel packages with Vice Media