An OpenTable employee made hundreds of reservations on competitor site Reserve, causing no-shows at several Chicago restaurants. Apparently, the employee thought the move would bring business to OpenTable.
The company blames this one employee and denies a bigger scheme:
“We extend our sincerest apologies to the restaurants in Chicago that were impacted by the disgraceful, unsanctioned activity of a lone OpenTable employee. When this activity was brought to our attention, we swiftly investigated and the employee was terminated immediately. We have begun reaching out to the restaurants and are committed to making it right.”
Peter de Castro, co-owner of Tavern on the Park commented on OpenTable's lack of humility:
“If you’re the biggest guy on the block, you’re supposed to lead by example. Why would they stoop to the level of undermining the competition and hurting the restaurants that went to that competition?”
The no-shows left restaurants with open tables (no pun intended); restaurant managers filled some of them but not all and lost revenue as a result.
How could this situation demonstrate a lack of humility for OpenTable, as the co-owner of Tavern on the Park says?
How well did OpenTable handle the situation? What else, if anything, should the company do?