We recently wrote about how Yelp had updated it’s business tools to allow restaurants to publicize their COVID-19 vaccine policy for both customers and employees. Now OpenTable, the ubiquitous reservation service, has announced a new feature that allows restaurants to verify customers’ vaccination status. As reported by The Verge, the feature will launch later this month and will allow restaurants to “tag diners as ‘verified’ for meeting entry requirements”.  

Per The Verge, the information is limited to single restaurants or groups, so if one restaurant marks a guest as vaccinated, other restaurants will not see that status. The system also does not actually log any health information, it is up to the business to check customers’ vaccination cards and manage the information. It does help restaurants reduce friction for their repeat customers by helping to smooth things out rather than requiring people to present proof of vaccination at every visit. It looks like the system will also allow restaurants to verify other information, such as legal drinking age, which could help streamline ID checks as well. 

We expect tools like the ones OpenTable and Yelp are introducing to become much more commonplace (and much more needed) as things progress with vaccinations and increasingly spreading variants of COVID-19, like the worrisome Delta variant. Regardless of a restaurant’s (or government’s) policies surrounding vaccines and masks, giving business’s the opportunity to easily share their policies makes it much easier for customers to plan ahead and have a more pleasant dining experience, with fewer bad surprises (i.e. giving people advanced notice to provide proof of vaccination). 

Source: The Verge