Updated: OpenTable to leave Chattanooga

Authored By chloe.morrison

Online reservations company OpenTable is leaving Chattanooga.

A spokeswoman for OpenTable made the following statement via email:

It was a difficult decision, but we determined that we needed to centralize our restaurant product and engineering work to our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. We’re proud of the work that has been done by our talented team in Chattanooga since we acquired Quickcue in 2013, and we have offered all employees the option to relocate.

The Chattanooga office has 14 people and the company plans to stay open here through mid-November, according to Tiffany Fox, OpenTable’s senior director of corporate communications.

Last summer, crews were working on the $2.7 million redevelopment of 701 Cherry St. that would become home to OpenTable and several other businesses.

Commercial real estate business Fidelity Trust Co. redeveloped the space, which is now listed for lease.

Fidelity Trust Co. President Matt McGauley said that although he’s disappointed in the decision to close, the move isn’t a reflection on Chattanooga.

“They made this clear it was a high-level decision that affects offices around the world and has nothing to do with Chattanooga,” he said. “There are a lot of people that have heavy hearts about this.”

He also said he’s appreciative that OpenTable leaders believed in the vision for the 701 Cherry St. development.

And OpenTable’s vacancy provides an opportunity for another company to move into “Silicon Valley office space.”

“What this is doing is creating an amazing opportunity for another company to come into a great tech space in a very prominent and visible location,” he said.

OpenTable is willing to sell the furniture, fixtures and equipment that are currently in the space. McGauley has the ability to market the space with all the furniture, fixtures and equipment, but the items aren’t being sold individually.

OpenTable had a lease, and McGauley said their obligation will continue even after their local office is closed.

McGauley said he’s grateful for OpenTable’s influence and that the company brought talent to Chattanooga. He predicted that some people will stay here, which benefits the city.

“At the end of the day, Chattanooga has gained tremendous human capital through OpenTable having a presence here,” he said.

Amy Donahue, spokeswoman for downtown economic development organization River City Co., said it’s always sad when a company leaves. It means potential job losses for local residents, she said.

But-just like anywhere else-the Innovation District is going to see companies come and go, she said. 

“[Not] OpenTable, nor any one entity, defines the district,” she said.

On Thursday morning at a meeting of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s downtown council, Mayor Andy Berke mentioned OpenTable’s presence in the Innovation District as an example of the area’s revitalization.

OpenTable has been in its new location for about a year.

The company bought Chattanooga business Quickcue in an $11.5 million deal in 2013.

Updated @ 6:39 p.m. on 10/6/16.
Updated @ 7:35 p.m. on 10/6/16.