In a move that may or may not be a response to Apple's recent patent application for a reservation and ordering system, restaurant reservation powerhouse OpenTable announced this afternoon that it will acquire "guest management system" developers Quickcue for $11.5 million in cash. The Quickcue platform, founded in 2011, allows front-of-house staff to manage tables, wait times, and track "guest preferences, visit histories, and operational analytics" via an iPad. Currently, the Tennessee-based Quickcue has 40 existing customers, which will now be supported by OpenTable.
In a press release, OpenTable's chief technology officer Joseph Essas said the merger will give OpenTable access to the "most sophisticated mobile waitlist technology on the market." Currently, OpenTable's online and mobile system does not allow guests to search reservations based on real-time waitlists, a shortcoming that Apple's would-be competitor hopes to provide. According to Essas, QuickCue's team will also help develop "our next generation hospitality solutions for restaurants that are primarily walk-in, but accept reservations."
In 2013, OpenTable announced new partnerships with the likes of Facebook, Urbanspoon, and Foodspotting to maintain its status as top of the reservation-making heap. When news leaked of Apple's impending restaurant system last week, OpenTable saw its stock prices fall 3.51 percent, though things are looking slightly up as of today.