Apr 29 AT 3:35 PM Guest Blogger 1 Comment

OpenTable: Reservations in the palm of your hand

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Looking to go out for a romantic dinner date with a special someone? Family in town, and you want to take them to a popular bistro downtown? OpenTable has just what you’re looking for. With access to hundreds of local eateries, OpenTable allows you to conveniently make, change, or cancel reservations from the convenience of your Android device.

So how well does OpenTable work? Pretty darn well actually. Just this past week, I made reservations at a popular restaurant in downtown Minneapolis at 5pm to surprise my wife before going to see a play. Realizing I was running slightly late at work, I was able to change the reservation from 5 to 5:30 all while stopped at a stoplight on the drive home. I was also able to click on the address in the app to get directions via Google Maps.

The interface for OpenTable is simple and pleasant. It first prompts you to either grant it access to your location via GPS or to select a metro area. Once it’s found your location, simply enter a date and time, the number of people in your party, and the maximum number of restaurants you’d like to see. OpenTable will do the rest. Once you pick a restaurant, the app shows the location, a brief description and available reservation times. What’s great about OpenTable is that reservations are confirmed almost instantaneously via an email to your email address on file (registration is required). A main drawback is the lack of ability/intuitiveness of the search function. You can only search for a restaurant you’re looking for after you’ve drilled into the restaurant list..

The Good

  • Very easy to use. Two clicks to make or change a reservation allowing for a convenient mobile experience.
  • Has a wide selection of restaurants in its database. All of the major (and some of the minor) restaurants in my suburban town were covered.
  • No phone call to the restaurant is necessary, which is a huge plus to folks like me who hate using the phone.
  • Clean and simple user interface.
  • Clicking on the address takes you to the map for easy access to directions.

What I’d like to see in a future release

  • One-click access to be able to call the restaurant from the app itself if need be.
  • Easier ability to search for restaurants by name should you already have a restaurant in mind.

Final Verdict

This is a nice-to-have app for the avid or casual restaurant-goer. My wife and I go to restaurants once per month or so, and have found this app extremely useful for making reservations and even finding new restaurants that we might not have tried otherwise.

OpenTable is currently in version 1.1 and can be downloaded for free on the Android Market. More information on the app and OpenTable can be found at http://www.opentable.com/page.aspx?pageid=11&ref=5920

Note: This review was submitted by Anthony Domanico as part of our app review contest.

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