OpenTable is joining forces with another San Francisco food startup to add social features to its venerable reservation-booking app. The company has just acquired Foodspotting, a map of user-uploaded food photos and dish recommendations that's been running since 2010, for $10 million. The idea, OpenTable's Matt Roberts tells The New York Times, is to create a kind of crowdsourced menu: after booking a table, users will get a confirmation email with a list of dishes and photos of ones that users have recommended. "It really just broadens the experience and helps diners get the most of their evening out," Roberts says.
The two companies have worked together in the past: Foodspotting users could book reservations via OpenTable, and OpenTable used photos from Foodspotting on some restaurant pages. Now, they'll be working more closely together on things like recommendations, though OpenTable has confirmed in a blog post that Foodspotting will keep running as a standalone service. This acquisition is part of a long chain of buyouts and integration deals between food, photography, and social apps: OpenTable reservations were built into Yelp years ago, while image-sharing site Pinterest acquired recipe-sharing tool Punchfork; Evernote, meanwhile, has developed its own recipe app.