OpenTable used ads in Instagram Stories to drive online restaurant reservations and make its ad campaigns more efficient, resulting in a 33% lower cost per reservation versus other ad formats.

Restaurant reservations made easy

Founded in 1998 and based in San Francisco, OpenTable is an online and app-based restaurant reservation service company. OpenTable empowers diners to discover and connect with more than 40,000 restaurants worldwide.


lower cost per reservation (versus other ad formats)


cheaper cost per click (versus other ad formats)

1.5 million

people reached

Our Instagram Stories campaigns have proven to be some of our highest ROI campaigns to date. This ad format not only delivers performance, but also effectively engages our best customers with crave-worthy content.
Serving up more bookings

The dining search engine wanted to encourage more people to make restaurant reservations through its website and app, increase revenue and achieve a higher return on ad spend.

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Preparing appetizing content

As of May 2018, OpenTable has helped 25 million people discover appetizing establishments each month and its diners have spent $63 billion at partner eateries worldwide. The company was looking for a way to inspire more restaurant bookings, so it decided to run an ad campaign using the ads in Instagram Stories format.

OpenTable developed 3 different video ads that were optimized for mobile and aimed at various business objectives. The vertical full-screen ads highlighted up-front branding and real-life scenarios, such as searching the OpenTable app to make a dinner reservation, looking for a last-minute restaurant reservation, and making time for friends by booking a weekend brunch.

The mouth-watering creative featured beautifully shot and tasty-looking food options, maps of convenient nearby restaurant locations, cheerful diners raising a toast, and text overlays encouraging spontaneity and conviviality, with inviting “Book Now” call-to-action buttons.

The ads were broadly targeted to a Custom Audience of US adults who are frequent diners or are interested in dining, and OpenTable tested these videos in ads in Instagram Stories versus other ad formats. The outcome? Ads in Stories drove a lower cost per reservation booking, and also boosted website and app conversions. The October 18–31, 2017 campaign resulted in:

  • 33% lower cost per reservation (compared to other ad formats)

  • 15% cheaper cost per click (compared to other ad formats)

  • 1.5 million people reached