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Booking Holdings (BKNG) to Widen Reach to Restaurant Owners

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Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG - Free Report) has been making strong efforts to improve business amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, one of its brands, OpenTable — a provider of real-time online restaurant reservation service — introduced a new video series, Restaurants on the Rebound.

The series documents the survival journey of four restaurants namely 50Kitchen, China Live, L’ocaD’oro, and Pink Dinghy and how they have prepared to improvise their business amid the current pandemic situation.

Notably, OpenTable has seated more than 135 million diners — with the restaurants bearing no cost — amid the pandemic.

We believe the company’s latest move is likely to expand its reach to restaurant owners and boost customers’ confidence. This in turn will drive its momentum across the online restaurant booking space.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Restaurants

The restaurant market witnessed a severe downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the National Restaurant Association data, total restaurant and food service sales between March 2020 and April 2021 were down $290 billion from the expected level. Also, 17% of the restaurants in the United States have been permanently closed.

Nevertheless, the rising vaccination drive and lifting of restrictions in many parts of the world are improving the restaurant market. Also, restaurant operators are now investing more on digital transformation of their business with cloud kitchen, artificial intelligence, omnichannel and sustainability.

According to the National Restaurant Association report, restaurants and bars generated $64.9 billion sales on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April, with total monthly sales increasing around $14 billion from December 2020. Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data quoted in National Restaurant Association report reveals that restaurant and bars employed 187,000 staffs on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April, marking the fourth consecutive month of payroll growth.

Competitive Restaurant Reservation Service Market

Booking Holdings’ OpenTable faces intense competition in the online restaurant reservation services market from other players including TheFork and Bookatable - owned by TripAdvisor (TRIP - Free Report) , SeatMe - owned by Yelp (YELP - Free Report) , Zomato, Quandoo - owned by Recruit and Resy - owned by American Express (AXP - Free Report) .

OpenTable seats more than 1 billion diners every year and supports 60,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues to gain more customers, improve operations, manage capacity as well as generate more revenues.

TheFork and Bookatable have more than 80,000 partner restaurants worldwide, providing top-quality service to foodies.

In addition, SeatMe has access to more than 97 million users on Yelp. It provides online reservations, walk-ins, waitlist management, pre-paid ticketing, future table assignment and direct SMS with guests without cover charges.

Moreover, Zomato has more than 1.4 million restaurant partners globally. It provides menus, information, reviews and food delivery options from restaurants.

Additionally, Quandoo has partnered with more than 18,000 restaurants and seats more than 150 million diners using personalized restaurant technology as well as digital marketing.

Further, Resy works with more than 5000 restaurants around the world and provides a consumer-facing reservation platform for the diners.

Nevertheless, growing endeavors of OpenTable to strengthen key services are likely to continue strengthening its competitive position.

Currently, Booking Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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