Previously, the company only worked with bars that also served food.
Wine Bar
Credit: Ben Miller/Getty Images

When the time finally comes to head back to bars, wineries, and other places to grab a drink, you may have a new way to let them know you’re coming: OpenTable.

Working under the premise that the coronavirus pandemic may require bars to operate with fewer guests due to social distancing, the online reservation company is offering its services to “all drink-focused destinations” to help them with “managing crowds, minimizing lines and communicating safety measures.” OpenTable also points out that, at wineries, they can offer “the option to prepay for tastings for a contactless payment experience.”

Previously, OpenTable had only worked with “select bars and wineries” that also sold food, but apparently, after weeks of quarantine, the brand is finally willing to admit that, sometimes, you just need a damn drink! Earlier this year, the company also began offering reservations for groceries to help people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Bars and wineries must operate differently as they reopen. OpenTable is here to help with software to accept reservations, manage capacity, attract guests, and maximize revenues,” COO Andrea Johnston said in the announcement.  “People can visit their favorite places to socialize without waiting in lines or worrying about crowds.”

Additionally, for bars interested in giving the platform a try, OpenTable says they are extending their discounted “Open Door” pricing program which lowers and waives fees until the end of the year to help establishments facing financial hardship. The Roosevelt Room in Austin, Texas, was announced as one of the first new bars to join the service.

“We will undoubtedly make modifications to our bar's layout, limit the size of parties seated in our booths, and more to help ensure our guests' safety when we are ready to reopen,” Justin Lavenue, The Roosevelt Room’s co-owner and operator, explained. “These measures will also affect the way we take reservations, and as a high-volume establishment, OpenTable is helping us adapt as we transition into this new chapter.”