Earlier today, while writing about the SnapDish app, I mentioned that the Foodspotting app grew old fairly quickly for me. I don’t use it anymore. Now those old photos I have languishing on Foodspotting may be put to use by OpenTable, the online reservation system. When someone makes a reservation at a restaurant, my photo — or any Foodspotting photo from the restaurant — could end up in their reservation email.
The New York Times is reporting that OpenTable is buying Foodspotting for $10 million, and using the photos on the site to enhance its reservation services is just one way the Foodspotting acquisition will be used.
Open Table’s chief executive Matt Roberts also envisions waiters “carrying around a tablet loaded with the OpenTable app, which would display a patron’s dining history and show his food preferences or cocktail of choice.”
I think the first idea is good if OpenTable chooses only the best of the best photos from Foodspotting for the restaurants in their system. The second idea, though, seems a bit creepy to me.
Imagine having a waiter looking at both your OpenTable history and Foodspotting history at the same time and reminding you that you really seemed to enjoy the coq au vin paired with the Chardonnay last time you dined there. It seems a little too Big Brother, doesn’t it? Even if all the information is online for the waiter to piece together because you willingly placed it there, it still’s a bit disconcerting. At least it is to me.
I love OpenTable, and I’ve been using it for several years. I’m going to continue to use it, but if my waiter asks if I want to see my dining history on a tablet before I meal, I’ll politely say, “No, thank you.”
Do you use OpenTable? Do you think that the Foodspotting will enhance what the reservation system offers?