If you’re headed to a restaurant in New York City, Boston or Los Angeles, you may want to give a new app a try. Reserve is available for iPhones and allows users to reserve tables and pay at the 20-30 restaurants currently partnered with the app, it makes the reservation process easier and more efficient, allowing diners to bid for popular reservation times.
Reserve was created by Joe Marchese and Greg Hong, two members of the advertising world who had the idea after an inefficient night out, and is backed by Uber cofounder Garrett Camp and some early Uber investors.
How does it work?
Diners enter the number of people in their party, date and time they’d like to reserve, and what cuisine type or restaurant they would like to go to into the app. Reserve then matches their request with a restaurant. Reservations for up to eight people can be made up to 32 days in advance.
Each restaurant that partners with the app is given an iPad which they use to see reservation requests. Similar to the Uber driver interface, the restaurant host can then easily accept or deny the request. Once a reservation has been made, the app texts the diner with the details of their confirmed plans.
If a diner cancels their reservation within four hours of their seating time, they will be charged $10 per person. If they don’t show up at all, their credit card will be charged $25 per person via the app’s payment feature.
Looking to pay without taking out your card? Reserve stores your credit-card information and tipping preferences. Once the reservation is complete, the app keeps $5 for helping you reserve your space.
If your reservation time slot is particularly popular, Reserve has a bidding feature, akin to the surge pricing of Uber. If a diner is willing to pay more for a certain time to dine, they can set the reservation preference to a certain amount and the app will bid against other interested diners. The highest bidder wins.
Currently the app is only available on iOS and it does not have a feature that allows users to split the bill. These issues will be fixed in future versions of the app. There are plans to launch in more cities as well, adding restaurant partners in Washington, D. C., London and San Francisco in the near future. Soon it may even be heading toward restaurants near Colorado culinary schools.