While some debate the health of the economy, the restaurant industry seems to be getting a little fatter.
If San Francisco-based OpenTable is a barometer, people are eating out more. The online dining reservation site said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income grew 65 percent as more diners used its free service to book restaurant reservations and more restaurants signed up for its electronic booking system.
The company said 13,795 restaurants in North America are signed up for its services, 27 percent
more than a year earlier.
The number of diners who used the site to make a reservation and then ate at the restaurant grew 51 percent to 17.8 million.
OpenTable went public in May 2009 at $20 per share; the stock has risen more than fourfold since then.
OpenTable makes money from the monthly fees that subscribing restaurants pay for its service. It
also receives a fee for each meal reservation that ends with a diner paying a bill at the appointed