OpenTable has acquired one of our favorite online start-ups for restaurants, Treat Technologies. The main service of Treat Technologies is Treatful, an online application that enables customers to buy gift cards over the internet and send the gift card to the recipient through email. Treatful significantly speeds up the turnaround time for customers and gives independent restaurants an automated online method for selling gift cards.

Not only is the market for restaurant gift cards expanding, Treatful provides the immediate ability to purchase gift cards. This appeals to those who need to buy a gift quick, and by quick, I mean, almost instantaneously (being sent by email). Some of our clients used Treatful to sell gift cards. To our knowledge, all had positive experiences, although there is no guarantee that anyone buys a gift card. In the past, Treatful has taken a percentage of the gift card amount though it is unclear if this business model will continue in the future.

OpenTable plans to integrate online gift card services with the reservation services they provide for local restaurants. OpenTable paid $4 million in cash for San Franscisco-based Treat Technologies, a company that had backed by $1 million in venture capital.

OpenTable has more than enough funds, as their quarterly net income increased to $39.2 million from $34.3 million last year. It looks like a savvy move by OpenTable as they obtain a startup with a lot of potential for a relatively cheap price and we are eager to see how OpenTable uses Treatful.

Treatful is a service that provides restaurants the opportunity to sell gift certificates online. There are a lot of online companies that help businesses sell gift cards or certificates. Few fit the special needs of restaurants like Treatful by making it easy for customers and restaurant owners.

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