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Yelp recently announced the acquisition of an online reservation management tool called SeatMe. This makes me wonder, will Yelp get into providing online reservations for local businesses? I could see how that would benefit Yelp customers and provide a more competitive landscape in local marketing.

If you run any type of local business or a business based on reservations (including hotels, B&Bs, certain entertainment-style venues, and travel packages), then Yelp getting into providing online reservations for company’s like yours would be a good service at the right price. Right?

As Greg Sterling points out, Yelp already has an affiliate relationship with OpenTable, which provides online reservations. Being able to do it themselves means they can cut their affiliate relationship and go directly to the customer.

As a small business owner, or a local business owner, if you could get an online reservation fulfillment service at an affordable price, would you go for that?

I don’t know what Yelp’s pricing model would look like, and I’m only speculating that the purpose of purchasing SeatMe would be to provide an online reservation management service, but it does make sense. The question is, is it something that small local businesses want, and is it something they could use?

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