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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

A feast of options for online reservations

Newcomers use lower costs in bid to lure restaurateurs

Savvy diners looking for last-minute reservations during the rush of Boston Restaurant Week know a smartphone can help get them a table fast. With an app from OpenTable Inc., it takes only a few taps of the screen to book a spot at the closest steakhouse or sushi bar.

That convenience is free for diners, but can be costly to restaurants that list on OpenTable. Some busy eateries can pay thousands of dollars a month to OpenTable for its reservation service and, as important, to use the company’s technology to manage their restaurants.

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