OpenTable, based in San Francisco, CA, is a site that lets you make reservations at some of the best restaurants in the country with the click of the mouse.

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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and you told your sweetheart that you’d make a reservation and take care of the dinner plans. You forgot/procrastinated. You’re one of those people who is petrified by phone interactions. For some reason the simple task of picking up a phone and dialing a restaurant to make a reservation intimidates you to no end. Shoot, you stared at the phone for 3 hours before you built up the courage to call your date to ask him or her out in the first place. Why can’t you just make a reservation online?

If you’re going to be an effective job searcher, you should probably try to get over this phobia before your first phone interview. Calling around for reservations might be good practice, but we understand that Valentine’s Day can be stressful enough. We’ll let you off the hook just this once. You can use OpenTable.com, a site that lets you make reservations at some of the best restaurants in the country with the click of the mouse. All you need to do is enter your location and the date and time you’d like to book, and they’ll show you what’s still available in your area. It might even save you from completely blowing Valentine’s Day.

OpenTable is a dot-com veteran that has survived conditions that put most Internet companies out of business. The New York Times describes OpenTable’s ups and downs quite well in an article from last Summer:

It took three years for OpenTable to seat its one-millionth diner. But now, the company seats two million diners every month. And Zagat, the restaurant rating service, has adopted OpenTable for reservations made through its site, zagat.com.

OpenTable survived because of a very smart business model. You may only recognize them as an online restaurant reservation service, but their real business driver is the software that they sell restaurants to manage reservations. This software interacts directly with OpenTable.com and provides a full reservation management solution, whether the reservations are made in person, over the phone, or online. In case you missed it, the key point is that OpenTable has built a brand with loyal consumers who now demand that restaurants offer OpenTable.com service. For a restaurant to provide this service, they have to buy in to OpenTable’s reservation management software. It’s brilliant – using customer brand recognition to drive the sale of B2B software.

OpenTable currently has only one position that requires minimal previous work experience. This job is as a Field Operations Specialist. The good news is that there are quite a few openings in a variety of locations: Frankfurt, Germany; Miami, FL; Madrid, Spain; Vancouver, British Columbia; Paris, France; San Diego, CA; Las Vegas, NV; St. Louis, MO; and Charlotte, NC. This job is heavy on travel and requires some technical know-how, as you’ll be troubleshooting OpenTable systems in restaurants. You’ll also need to be a customer service star, since you will be the face of the company at the customer sites. There are also some administrative and sales positions available at OpenTable, but they require more experience than the Field Operations Specialist Job. These jobs could be worth a look for a college grad with exceptional hospitality management or outside sales experience.

Now go save Valentine’s Day by making a reservation on OpenTable.com.

Note: On April 24th we revisited entry-level jobs at OpenTable.

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