Build Restaurant Booking Apps Like OpenTable: Neutralize That Cringe of Waiting

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Is it that easy to get people to their first bite, chasing the flavors, delivering the best out of ingredients, delivering tables by a single command, all by utilizing innovative technology?

Acc. To a pre-disposed saying, “When a business starts with what’s at stake for the buyer, they earn the right to their attention.” In accordance to this, OpenTable is one such prevalent name in America’s restaurant business since 1998. Headquartered in San Francisco and California, OpenTable, Inc. caters to Business & Personal Services industry, providing solutions that form an online network connecting reservation-taking restaurants and people who dine at those restaurants. The various solutions include its electronic reservation book (ERB) and Open Table Connect (Connect). The diners can get their tables booked in advance by visiting their website or mobile app. The company has been acquiring various subordinate businesses like JustChalo Inc., Rexbook and Urbanspoon (just to name a few), in its process of expansion.

Customers at your restaurant need to feel human. They expect feeling appreciated, acknowledged, want the owners to make suggestions based on their preferences.

  • Sometimes they wish their menu to be flexible like gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free, organic and likewise.
  • Customers desire restaurants to be ready and open to proposed alternatives.
  • If they got a chance to specify some specific ingredients or potential allergens in their food, they want their restaurants to remember their choice.
  • Do they care to plan substitutes for items that may cause problems on your menu?
  • Do they make some healthy options available?
  • Are various modes of payments (cash + digital acceptable)?
  • Do they offer discounts?
  • And above everything, would you recommend that place to your friends and family?
  • Do they sell experience and value rather than just selling food?
  • Do they make an effort to differentiate themselves from competitors into similar business or big chains?
  • Have they embraced technology to enhance customer experience?
  • Any changes in the ratio of customers visiting them?

Features Required to Create a Restaurant Reservation App

Customers always believe what fellow customers say about your business, therefore the app must have enough room for user-generated content (UGC) like media—photos, videos, testimonials, etc. People trust recommendations from fellow customers more than they trust advertisements. Such UGC must be legally repurposed and can be generated from review sites, social media, and blogs.

With the emergence of artificial intelligence, many restaurant businesses have started making use of restaurant reservation and pre-ordering apps that rely on AI and machine learning. “Allset” is an example of such an app that allows you to make reservations, place orders for dine-in or pick up and pay the check-in advance at more than 2000 restaurants in the U.S. This in turn help busy diners save substantial time, thus helping restaurants with quick service to their customers, giving way to gain loyalty from customers. Spyce, a Boston based company has created an automated culinary experience, by establishing robots to cook complex meals!

This app helps to save a lot of time and effort, for both customers and restaurant owners. These allow customers to pre-order a sit-down meal and pay for it in advance. As these app companies partner with some restaurants, they maintain a parallel focus on casual restaurants, such as counter service, quick service spots, and food courts. Such places are usual hangouts where people wish to go for a quick bite in-between their busy schedule.

An app must have the following features to qualify for inclusion in the restaurant reservation category:

  • It must provide multiple channels for reservations such as web and mobile interface.
  • Such an app must allow users to manage floor plans and restaurant capacity.
  • It allows scheduling and managing reservations including waiting lists or cancellations.
  • Such table booking applications captures and displays information according to customer’s preferences.
  • It delivers options to manage reservations on mobile devices or POS terminals for customers.
  • This includes features to capture customer feedback and reviews.

Features in OpenTable Restaurant Reservation App

It facilitates quick registration, advanced search with suggestions, filters, and ratings, seating options, detailed history of bookings, user-generated reviews, online payment system, guest management software (manage floor plans, optimize seating, create shift reports for restaurant employees, manage tables, create profiles of restaurant guests for marketing purposes, view, filter, and export data on reservations and track revenue)

How Does OpenTable Work?

Opentable helps people reserve their table from their favorite restaurants in advance and relish extraordinary dining experience. They have intuitive and comprehensive search filters, menus, photos and special promotions based on personalized preferences that help users do many more things like earn points on every reservation, utilize them for dining rewards towards future meals, hotel discounts, etc. It acts as a perfect travel companion to discover, find, book tables and set all the wait-related-hassles aside. This open table app also helps manage all-important statistics, dietary preferences, and dining points.

How Does OpenTable Make Money?

Apps like Open Table does two main things: They sell restaurant tools to manage reservations and operate an online reservation service on its app and via partner sites like Google, Menupages, and Yelp. All such reservations are free of cost for customers but restaurants have to pay a fee for such reservations that go through OpenTable.

Dinner reservation apps like Dineout or OpenTable offers two main services to restaurants:

  • OpenTable Electronic Reservation Book – To organize online reservations, run front-of-the-house business in restaurants, check seating arrangements, take note of frequent visitors, etc. Restaurants have to pay one-time installation and training costs, monthly subscriptions to Opentable. Later also gets a fee for each diner who completes their reservations via the website or mobile app.
  • OpenTable Connect –This is a web-based system that enables restaurants to accept online reservations. This version is lighter than the previous one. The partner restaurants pay a percentage of the fee for each diner who completes their reservations via OpenTable App.

Member restaurants can pay an additional fee to OpenTable for getting featured on their app/website. There is a spotlight program to sell discount coupons to lure customers to indulge in restaurant table reservations.  The revenues from coupon sales are split between the restaurant and OpenTable.

What Customers Like and Dislike about App like OpenTable?

Likes: The app’s nice layout, structured features, the comprehensive menu makes it easy to see the entire floor, assign people to tables ahead of time or when they arrive, mark when they are in the meal and offering a balanced assessment of their Food, Service, Ambiance, and Noise, using averaged ratings.

Dislikes: The company takes a huge amount of profit whenever reservations are made through them rather than the restaurant. It might sometimes add reservations without alerting the customers, thus increasing the covers unexpectedly.

P.S.: This must be the focal point for developers to prevent and implement certain features to ensure this flaw is rectified.

Capturing The Essence of Table Reservation Apps

Thick skin, a bit of hustle and an enormous amount of creativity are some best known “secret” ingredients for being a classic restaurateur. Great food is even more exuberating. Statista estimated the number of restaurants in the United States to reach up to 660,755 in Spring 2018. Toast 2019 Restaurant Success Report indicated a whopping 45% diners do out to eat multiple times a week with another 20% going out to eat once a week.

Great food is critical to the restaurant experience, but retaining those customers and making them come for more is important. OpenTable and its counterparts like Bookatable, Quandoo, La Fourchette, SeatMe by Yelp, Reserve, Resy, NoWait, DineTimeHost, ResNexus, GuestServe, HostmeApp, Mirus Enterprises, Reserve, Resyos, Quadrant Enterprise Solution, Rezku Prime, SeatOut, SevenRooms, rGuestSeat, Avenista, AxisSuite, TablesReady, Acomos, The Parable Restaurant Diary, AxisSuite, BookioPro and TableUp etc. are into similar table reservation business. The staff must be intuitive enough to handle customer’s needs and must treat customers like their prospects, ensuring that their needs are being taken care of, closing the experience with as much respect as during the meal, thus increasing their chances to make them repeat their preference.

Hire an app development agency that helps to build your restaurant app that works as a restaurant table reservation system (as an app or a cloud) enabling creating, managing and accessing the reservations anytime from any device, including phones and tablets without any monthly fees or any specific software installs. Don’t base your decisions on the advice of those who don’t have to deal with the results. We’ll ensure you’re getting the best solution based on your app idea. Contact us for a quick quote!

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About Author
Vipin Jain

Vipin Jain

Vipin Jain is the Co-Founder and CEO at Konstant Infosolutions and is in charge of marketing, project management, administration and R&D at the company. With his marketing background, Vipin Jain has developed and honed the company’s vision, corporate structure & initiatives and its goals, and brought the company into the current era of success.

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