Nonetheless, Pastore believes that a nonmonopolistic reservation system would be better for business owners, since it would cost less. He and I agree that it could also be better for diners since it would encourage competing reservations systems. In the travel business one can see the effect of competition in consumer-facing reservation systems: look at Hipmunk, for example, to see a new spin on airline data visualization and booking.
We see innovation in travel sites not because airline data is open or free--live airfare information comes from a few private sources and is expensive to license--but rather because the revenues to be made from travel bookings are so high that the economics of buying the data work in an entrepreneur's favor. Google, by the way, is attempting to get into this game by buying airline data company ITA.
I'm hoping Grubhub is on its way to finally creating the platform we envisioned with our original Y Combinator application all those years ago. Steve's Sheetz-inspired vision for more efficient food ordering is long overdue. We weren't the guys to do it, but someone will be.