In an industry where diner data is gold, knowing how to use it to run a better business is mission critical to success.
— Erika Adams
OpenTable is one step closer in its mission to be a one-stop-shop for restaurant technology solutions, as parent company Booking Holdings announced the acquisition of customer data analytics platform Venga on Thursday.
“Right now, OpenTable doesn’t even support pictures of our users,” Kayak CEO Steve Hafner told Skift Table Thursday. “Venga does. That will seamlessly integrate. Diners will see better hospitality at the restaurants that use the combined software.”
Founded in 2010, Venga built a suite of products around customer relationship management (CRM) that services about 1,400 restaurants. Venga has worked with OpenTable in a third-party vendor capacity for the past five years, but the acquisition will allow for OpenTable to take far more advantage of Venga’s technology and implement it across OpenTable’s vast roster of 52,000 restaurant clients.
Booking Holdings declined to disclose the financial details of the acquisition.
A Deeper Relationship
Under the new ownership structure, Venga will be fully integrated onto OpenTable’s platform, providing more detailed diner information for operators on everything from food preferences to social media profiles to particular dining habits that customers would want a front-of-house staff to remember.
“We’ll be able to engage with diners, and make sure they come back to get those butts in seats and drive loyalty,” said Venga co-founder Winston Lord.
The two companies agreed that Venga would retain its own branding and its Washington, D.C. headquarters after the acquisition. This wasn’t a buy simply for the tech or talent, Lord explained. From the time that Venga started meeting with Hafner and his team to discuss a possible acquisition at the beginning of this year, “it was clear that they wanted us to be a part of the larger team and continue to grow Venga.”
Venga co-founder and CEO Sam Pollaro will report directly to Hafner under the new structure.
One Platform to Rule Them All
OpenTable’s acquisition of Venga further strengthens the platform to be able to offer more cohesive solutions to more restaurants in a crowded, fragmented restaurant tech landscape. Eventually, Hafner wants to build OpenTable to outfit restaurants with everything from payment solutions to delivery integration, to perhaps getting into scheduling and labor management solutions.
“Every restaurant I’ve met is like, ‘God, wouldn’t it be great if we had one or two vendors that did the full gamut of services?’ And all of those services were intelligently intertwined with each other,” Hafner said. “That’s what OpenTable is trying to build.”