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Food & Wine reports that Opentable, the booking service for restaurants, has opened its own establishment - the Layla, in the Kayak Miami Beach hotel.

The story says that "the team behind the bedouin-inspired restaurant hopes the latest advances in Opentable technology help you forget all about the online reservations platform while perched on a terrace overlooking a plate of baba ganoush and the oasis of the Collins Canal."

In other words, Opentable is less a harbinger of broader strategic plans than it is a laboratory in which the company can test technology solutions that can help restaurants customize and personalize their offerings.

Layla food and beverage director Daniel Levine tells Food & Wine, "This is really a design innovation lab for Opentable. For example, we can see everything you order with us, then leverage that to develop new technology. Say you always tweak a certain cocktail with your preferred spirit; next time you won't have to ask to have it your way."

KC's View:

I'm sure it has been a tough year for Opentable, which has suffered along with the restaurant industry that it serves.  Developing additional expertise that can improve restaurants' ability to deliver stronger service seems like a reasonable product extension for the company.