Building out its social and mobile services, the online reservation specialists at OpenTable have agreed to buy Foodspotting for about $10 million in cash.
Like an Instagram for foodies, Foodspotting encourages its socially savvy community to snap and share their favorite dishes in picture form.
Foodspotting’s strengths lie “in the areas of imagery and social sharing,” according to Matt Roberts, CEO of OpenTable.
The startup also categorizes its content by restaurant, which creates a visually rich menu of eateries for potential patrons to peruse. Giving OpenTable and its users a chance to kick Foodspotting’s tires, the reservation company recently added dish photos through a preliminary partnership.
“By adding more visually compelling content to help people decide where to dine and discover dishes they’ll love, we hope to make it even easier to find the perfect table,” Roberts added.
Per the deal, Alexa Andrzejewski, co-founder and CEO of Foodspotting, is expected to join OpenTable as a lead user interface designer.
OpenTable plans to maintain the Foodspotting site and mobile apps on a standalone basis. Worldwide, OpenTable says it seats roughly 10 million diners a month via online bookings across more than 26,000 restaurants.
As recent research demonstrates, the app-driven mobile Web is presenting new opportunities and challenges for the food industry.
Indeed, half of media-savvy mobile users now have at least one restaurant-specific app on their devices, according to recent survey-based research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau in partnership with social TV rewards startup Viggle.
In addition to the company's Web site and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners.
Late last year, OpenTable said reservations booked on smartphones and tablets accounted for 28% of the 28 million diners it seated in North America in the second quarter of 2012.