Announcing OpenSeat: Virginia Tourism Corp. and OpenTable Partner on New Dining Program Launching Exclusively in Virginia this September

September 27, 2018 at 8:30 AM EDT
New program turns open seats into chance meetings at restaurants across Virginia

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, in partnership with OpenTable, announced the launch of OpenSeat, a new program that allows diners to opt-in to share an open seat at their table with someone new. The program is designed to bring people together over a shared meal and celebrate common ground. More than 30 restaurants across the Commonwealth are participating in this pilot program.

Virginia Tourism and OpenTable are turning open seats into chance meetings at busy restaurants all across Virginia. To participate, guests can book their reservations at one of the participating restaurants on OpenTable here. Before completing the reservation, diners simply write "OpenSeat" in the notes section. If another guest walks into the restaurant that has also opted into the program, both parties will be seated together. They'll then have the opportunity to connect around the table and get to know one another. Participants will also receive a complimentary appetizer as a part of their experience.

"Virginia has quickly become one of the most celebrated destinations in the country for culinary enthusiasts," said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. "Visitors are traveling to Virginia to experience our world-class restaurants headed up by talented, award-winning chefs. The OpenSeat programs allows diners to meet new people over a shared meal at our most beloved restaurants, and discover for themselves why Virginia is for food lovers. We are thrilled to be partnering with OpenTable this fall on such a fun, innovative program that is sure to bring many new people together."

"To paraphrase William Butler Yeats, there are no strangers, only friends we haven't yet met," said Caroline Potter, OpenTable's Chief Dining Officer. "And what better way to get to know people in the community than by sharing a delicious meal in a welcoming setting. We look forward to hearing about the connections made around the table through this program."

Participating restaurants include some of the most notable dining destinations in Charlottesville, Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, Fairfax and Alexandria, such as:

A full list of participating restaurants can be found at https://www.opentable.com/openseat.

To learn more about OpenSeat program watch the video here or visit the OpenTable.com/openseat.

About Virginia Tourism Corporation:

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand, which will celebrate 50 years in 2019. Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. Last year, visitors spent $25 billion, which supported 232,000 jobs and contributed $1.73 billion in state and local taxes.

For more information and to plan your next vacation in Virginia, please visit www.virginia.org.

About OpenTable:

OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 26 million diners per month via online reservations across more than 47,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company's website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet's most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated over 1.6 billion diners via online reservations around the world. OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco and has bookable restaurants in more than 20 countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. Restaurants are available for reservations in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish languages.

OpenTable logo (PRNewsFoto/OpenTable) (PRNewsFoto/OpenTable)

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Kerstin Hjelm, kerstinh@louhammond.com, (212) 891-0201, Lou Hammond Group; Lisa Singh, lsingh@opentable.com, (415) 710-5333, OpenTable NA