Yelp Launches New SeatMe

Yelp has debuted a new tool for restaurants, bars, and other nightlife businesses which would allow them to accept online reservations for free. It’s a free version of Yelp’s SeatMe product, which has been on the market for some time already and sits in direct competition with the likes of OpenTable. Right now, the free version of SeatMe is only available in the US, the UK, and Ireland, but Yelp is looking to expand into more regions soon. To register, businesses will need to make a Yelp Business Account; users who make reservations will receive a notification six hours before the reservation time, and an SMS about an hour before. Yelp is also making a widget to encourage more reservations on websites. Whether it can compete with already entrenched reservation services remains to be seen, but it would be a boon to Yelp to have user data on who is reserving where, and when, across the board.