Developing a restaurant reservation app becomes necessary when a diner on a Saturday evening wants to eat out but cannot get any table confirmed because of no non-availability of seats. This app will have in it all the restaurants in the city and from every area. The diners can, without having the trouble to wait in line or outside the restaurant for their turn, reserve a table for them at their favorite restaurants.
A restaurant reservation app is not a food delivery app. It is an app where a user makes reservations or bookings for a table or party at a restaurant. The diner fills in the details like no. of people, the time for dining, the seat preference (bar or table).
The Most Prominent example of Restaurant Finding Apps is OpenTable
OpenTable, a restaurant reservation app, came into existence after a former US Army ranger felt that his wife could not get reservations at any restaurant. So, in 1998, he developed this idea of restaurant booking service into an app called OpenTable. And ever since it was launched, it attained dominance in the market of a restaurant reservation.
To this day, OpenTable has been providing its services in 20 countries which include Japan, Australia, and the UK. OpenTable’s market share is still in the leading rank. To develop a restaurant reservation app like OpenTable, web, and app developers make sure that the customers, in this case, diners are able to find and make a reservation for themselves at a restaurant.
The restaurants partner with the restaurant reservation app to facilitate the app to show the restaurants’ name in the search list so that the diners can make a reservation there. And this is how the restaurant reservation apps profit from the restaurants; with subscriptions and reservations. Apps like those charge a hefty amount from the restaurants and feature their names on their apps.
Despite OpenTable holding a huge market share in this field, other apps like Resy, Reserve, La Fourchette, Bookatable, TableUp have come off as stiff competitors to OpenTable.
Development of Restaurant Reservation App Like OneTable:
The development of a restaurant reservation app like OpenTable is based on the functionality and the users/clients of this app.
Such app has to cater to the requirements of two types of clients; Diners and Restaurants.
Keeping in view the diners, the app is usually developed with the following features:
Restaurant Reservation App: Restaurants as clients.
- Registration and Creation of Account:
Registration for the restaurants will be easy and simple. All they will have to do is fill out a form. The restaurants go through a verification process which will enable them to have a personal account page known as Restaurant Centre.
The restaurants add their menu, prices, images, contact details, hours of working, etc.
The restaurants can add special offers or promos for special occasions on their Restaurant Centre Page for those offers to feature on the App. The Restaurants can view their ratings and reviews and other statistics on the restaurant working.
- GMS (Guest Management Software):
Guest Management software creates a welcome experience for the diners online and manages it on behalf of the restaurants. With this software, the restaurants can manage the cancellations, reservations, party bookings, in-house shows or no shows and also the assignment of the waiting staff. Through this software, the restaurants get facilitated to accept reservations from other websites and also allows the restaurants to post on their social media page for the diners to make reservations.
Guest Management Software does the following functions too:
- Makes guests profiles on the restaurant's page.
- Shift Management of Restaurant employees.
- Table Management.
- Manage the reservations by filtering and exporting the data.
Guest Management Software works in the same way as CRM. It creates the guest profiles with their details so that it can let the guest know about special discounts or offers on the guest’s birthday or anniversary or any special occasion. This aids to the marketing of the restaurant.
This software offers a varied number of point of sale integrations. With this system, the restaurants find it easy to manage their operations and marketing tasks. A PoS is a place where the diners will make payments and also where the diner will make a reservation. This system makes the restaurants manage their tasks properly based upon the sales and reservations made at their place. This will help in enhancing their quality, performance and eventually, will serve as a marketing analysis method.
Development of Restaurant Reservation App Keeping the Diners in View:
- Fast Registration: The Reservation app will ask for the diner’s email address and contact details for registering and then signing them up on the app. The registration can be done using their Facebook or Google account too. The app will ask the diners about their cuisine preference to make their search and choice more simple and easy.
- Search Option: The app provides the diners a great search experience based upon the cuisine, pricing and rating selection on their profiles. It provides the diners with an easy and simple search experience. The search option will show the diners the restaurants depending upon the availability of seats, hours of service, location and the ratings.
- Seating Preference: The restaurant reservation app will ask the diners whether they would prefer their seats at the bar or if they would like to reserve a table. This option makes their dining experience convenient without having to wait.
- Bookings History: The app keeps the booking history of the diners for them to see where they reserved the last time, how their dining experience was. This feature will be helpful if in any case, the user doesn’t remember the name of the restaurant.
- Reviews and Ratings: The app has a feature of displaying reviews and ratings of the restaurants depending upon which the diners can find and make reservations at a restaurant best suited for them. These ratings and reviews are majorly based upon the food, the service, the waiting staff and the ambiance of the restaurant.
- Online Payment: With this feature, the diners can pay the restaurant directly with the app, having their card details saved there. Or the restaurant reservation app will have a wallet in which the diners will add money or earn points and can utilize that money to pay the restaurant bill. This feature includes payments through various payment mediums like PayPal, PayTM, PayUMoney. This enables the diners to pay securely without sharing their card details with anyone.
The App developers will keep these features win their minds while developing the app and make a better dining experience for the diners.
Cost of Development of a Restaurant Reservation App:
The cost of developing a restaurant reservation app like OpenTable may depend upon various factors
- App developers
- User Interface
- Search Options
With the right technology, the developers develop an app with all the features in it and make it compatible to be used on all the devices and their availability on iOS and Android app store. Apart from these things, the developers will include the Customer Relations Management Software for ensuring a quality experience of making reservations in the restaurants.
The cost of development of an app like OpenTable will begin from $35,000 if it is outsourced to other cities or countries and may go up to a few more grand dollars depending upon the features and varied preferences the app offers.
But if the outsourcing option is not there, the app can be developed at a relatively lesser cost.
Earnings of the Restaurant Reservation App:
These apps make money via subscriptions and restaurant reservations.
- Reservations: The bookings and reservations made on the app for a particular restaurant are what earns the app, money. The Restaurant Reservation app charges big time from the restaurants for featuring their place and also charge nearly $1 as commission per booking and a monthly charge of nearly $250.
- Subscriptions: The Restaurant reservation app will earn money through subscriptions. This works when the restaurants have patrons and make reservations through the app. For that, they charge the restaurants nearly $200 of subscription fees.
Apart from all the above-mentioned features, the app will provide the users with offers of earning points via bookings through the app. And once the diners earn required points, they will get a gift coupon or a discount coupon from the app to be redeemed at the restaurant while paying. These coupons can be printed or converted into dining cheques.
This is how the app ensures customers and their retention. The restaurants will deposit these dining cheques to the app for refunds.
The Restaurant Reservation app will have a database of all the restaurants of the region/ city to ensure varied choices to the diners to choose from. The app will provide the diners with information of availability of seats at a restaurant with the images of the restaurant, the cuisines the restaurant offers, the quality of the food, the prices and the ratings for the restaurants.