I'm going to assume that you've never heard of Reserve, because unless you live in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco, there hasn't been much of a reason for the product to enter your radar. The concierge service lets people in these four cities pick a place to eat, reserve a table, and pay for the food all from a single app. It's cool, and now it's available on Android.
Reserve doesn't need much information to get the job done. Just tell it how many people are coming and when you want to arrive. If the establishment you're interested in doesn't have an opening, the app will try to recommend something similar. If you do snag a reservation, the app won't charge you until after your meal. At that point, it will automatically add tax, tip, and Reserve's $5 fee to the cost of your meal. Your payment information and tipping preferences will be saved so that you don't have to reconfigure the app each time.
This isn't all that different from what the mobile payment service OpenTable already offers, but it does save users from having to pull out their phones and press a button after eating. That minor convenience is offset by Reserve's fee, which OpenTable doesn't charge (instead, it takes a cut of what you pay the restaurant).
Considering the annoyance of waiting on a check, this sounds like a service I would still be willing to try. But with only four American markets supported thus far, it looks like I'll have to wait for quite the while. And most of you reading this can join me.
- Reserve Blog