Restaurants Vs. Baby Boomers 

I’m not implying that the New York Post is a trusty news source, but I did read a story they recently wrote about restaurants that might impact you. The newspaper believes that “restaurants are discriminating against old people.” 

Just to clarify, New York Post refers to old people as baby boomers. The story points out that more and more restaurants are eliminating phone reservations. Some restaurants are even eliminating phone numbers for patrons. 

The reason why I zeroed in on this story was because I, too, noticed a change in recent months when I call to make dinner reservations. The hours to make a reservation have been shrinking and the hosts leave me on hold way too long. 

The New York Post revealed that restaurants need to save money and one way they are doing that is cutting back on employees. This is also a maneuver to discourage older customers from going to  certain restaurants that are aimed at younger hipper crowds. Baby boomers are supposedly not comfortable making reservations online.

I’m don’t really think this story has much validity to it, but I do encourage seniors to use OpenTable, the website for online restaurant reservations, as much as possible. Let’s show them that we have what it takes in today’s society. Don’t fret. OpenTable is very user friendly. 


Open Table Aims to Give You Control of the Check


Open Table, the online website that lets you book tables at most restaurants, must be reading the minds of many diners. They are working diligently on a software program that will allow patrons to pay for their checks within an Android or iPhone app. I also found out, from some business friends close to the San Francisco company, that Open Table is also experimenting with a new software program that may even allow us to order our food from our smartphones in order to bypass the waitstaff.

Personally, I am not sure how I feel about that. There are pros and cons. There is no question that a good waiter or waitress can enhance the dining experience immensely. However, lately I have seen the reverse. Many times over the last few years, I have been totally frustrated when three people out of a foursome are brought their plates leaving one person hanging and feeling victimized, or when the waiter serves me my friend’s meal and gives her mine, or when you ask for milk for your coffee and he delivers it ten minutes too late.

Maybe I am just getting older and have less tolerance. I remember fine dining being fine. Today, I recommend a restaurant to folks and I worry more about whether the service will be good than the taste of the food. I am hopeful that Open Table’s new program is a decent remedy, although I am also concerned about people losing their jobs.

So far, Open Table’s software will focus on allowing diners to pay for the meal on their phone. At the end of the meal, they will be able to review the check, add a tip, and then pay for it with a touch of a button.

OpenTable has 28,000 restaurants and 450 million diners worldwide. It generates most of its revenues from monthly subscription fees from restaurants.

OpenTable will be adding convenient features more and more as a result of its $11 million acquisition in June of Just Chalo, a mobile payments processor specializing in restaurants.