OpenTable employee fired after making 300 fake reservations at Chicago restaurants

CHICAGO -- More than 40 high-end Chicago restaurants lost a lot of money over the last few months – all because of fake reservations.

Those restaurants were targeted as part of a scheme traced back to the online reservation company Open Table.

It turns out, all of the restaurants that were targeted use one of Open Table’s rivals, a service called Reserve.

The scheme attempted to undermine business – possibly as retribution for cutting ties with Open Table.

The false reservations were traced to an employee at the San Francisco-based Open Table, which this week confirmed it fired that person for making several hundred bogus reservations at Chicago restaurants. In a statement the company’s CEO apologized, blaming it on a rogue employee’s “disgraceful, unsanctioned behavior.”

Open Table offered to reimburse restaurants for the money lost under the fake reservations.