Before learning how to build a restaurant reservation app Like OpenTable, let us understand what the restaurant reservation system is? The restaurant reservation system means booking a table with any restaurant, managing the bookings, and canceling the bookings (if required). This table reservation system has helped restaurants estimate demand more efficiently.
OpenTable is a restaurant reservation application that allows diners to book their preferred tables early. This ultimately avoids the frustration of going into a restaurant and not finding a table. It has around 52000+ restaurants worldwide under its umbrella. It enables you to enjoy your favorite cuisines anywhere.
You can reserve and even modify your booking with a few taps without moving from your seat. The application also allows you to send RSVPs to your friends and order delivery at home. Various filters eliminate confusion and narrow the search to your favorite neighborhood, cuisines, pricing, rating, etc. You can curate a personalized experience by entering your details, preferences, restrictions, dietary plans, birthdays, etc.
|Application Name||OpenTable App|
|Founders||Sid Gorham, Eric Moe, and Chuck Templeton|
|Top Competitors||Yelp Reservations, Yelp WaitList, SevenRooms, ResyOS, etc.|
|Revenue||$100 – $500 million|
Before reserving the table, the registration process for a user must be simple and easy to follow. It should not be complex or involve multiple steps. It should allow registration through Google or Facebook functionality. After registration, it must not bombard the user to fill in several details. The reservation process must be effortless with time slots and reservation charts. This will be the most important part of the mobile application development process.
Dealing in cash or cheque has decreased considerably, while online payment mechanisms have increased. The convenience and comfort associated with online payment mechanisms are beneficial for the users.
The reviews and ratings matter a lot when it comes to influencing users’ interests. It indicates which restaurant offers great taste, ambience, etc. Letting them know about others’ experiences and giving them an option to rate and review their experience will benefit both users and businesses. You can add a star scale with five stars being the highest and one lowest.
Every person has different sitting needs. While some may be okay with their table anywhere, others prefer window-side, corner table, etc. Also, some might require a family table for the entire family, while others require a table for two. The application must indicate the tables available and their location. Also, private dining features can help families plan their intimate affairs.
The application must show the reservation history of the consumer. It allows the application to track customers’ preferences, favorite cuisines, restaurant styles, etc. It also indicates to them their rewards and loyalty plans from each reservation. Reservation history should also enable customers to repeat the same order. It provides a personalized experience every time which translates to customer delight.
If you want to know how to build a restaurant reservation app identical to OpenTable, it is essential to understand these seven steps.
Embedding lucrative features is essential if we look forward to making an app that competes OpenTable. These features included in the app must offer a better service experience to the users. They can be embedded through additional updates in the basic coding of the app or by overriding the software. You can send emails and notifications to inform the customers about the features.
In addition to the above-mentioned features that a restaurant reservation app must-have, the other features must include:
People go for a restaurant reservation app mainly for booking their tables in advance. But what makes OpenTable different is that they offer extra features. People can avail of private dining and book private party rooms through it. This will attract people looking for holiday bookings also. So having a comprehensive booking system will be an advantage.
It is seen with OpenTable that though their booking system is satisfying, they lack a proper review system. If you include an online review system in your restaurant booking app, it shall be advantageous for sure.
If your app doesn’t offer a last-minute cancellation feature, it won’t be the customer’s first choice. Also, a modification in reservation should be a part of your app. This creates flexibility in the reservations made by the customers.
Tech compatibility is an essential step to be taken care of in any app. For creating a restaurant app, we must know the operating systems it is offered on. It provides its services through its website along with its app. OpenTable is available both on iOS and Android.
Therefore, if your app offers additional compatibility with other operating systems like Windows, Linux, etc., in addition to iOS and Android, it can create more impact. Moreover, social media prresence should not be ignored either.
OpenTable is an app that helps in providing convenience in getting a table booked for your meal. So, the UI designers must make an interactive page that connects various restaurants with the user in one go. While designing the UI, cookies are also essential, which guides the users to click on related searches and allows tracking of their preferences.
The UI of your app should be careful in providing a faster and instant reservation experience. Additional ways of selecting restaurants can be included in the UI’s design. You can classify them according to the average customers per day, notifying the closing time through popups, etc. Such methods can give a better idea of their availability during the search.
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The development stage of a restaurant reservation application is the most cumbersome and tedious process. It turns your ideas into reality by integrating the three integral parts of the application: Back end, Front end, and API.
The back-end part is not visible to the users and pertains to data processing, storage, mathematical operations, and functionality. The back-end features include Profile Management Process, Additional Points For Repeating Customers, etc. On the other hand, front-end features include Updates Button, Profile Button, Search Button, etc. Make sure to embed these features into your app.
The beta version of your restaurant booking app should offer discounted features but similar functionality. It is the best way to understand the table reservation expectations of the customers. Mainly the beta app serves for beta testing, which can occur internally and externally.
The ultimate step in restaurant booking app development is deployment, just like any other app. This step includes the final configuration with the partnering cafes and restaurants and making the app live on the chosen platform (iOS, Android, or both)
After the final deployment of your app, the next step is to promote it among customers. The marketing step involves market research and advertising of your app as well. You must know the target audience and their choices for that. You can use social media channels to raise awareness and advertise the app. It can include the use of visual graphics, promotional videos, blogs, etc. To improve the app further, you can even build a feedback community.
The business model of OpenTable revolves around two methodologies. Firstly, it sells the restaurants the tools to manage reservations. Since the partnering restaurants may not always be equipped to handle the online reservations, OpenTable assists them in sustaining that.
Next, it operates an online reservation service, but that involves both the partnering sites and its own. Moreover, OpenTable receives a fee for the reservations that go through it.
When it comes to earning revenue, we can say that it offers the restaurants two services:
The Connect is a lighter version of the reservation system OpenTable offers that is completely web-oriented. It helps restaurants accept online reservations, wherein OpenTable earns the returns from the fee it charges for completing each reservation. However, the charges differ for those who reserve directly through the OpenTable platform and those who make through the restaurant’s site.
It offers services to restaurants through ERB, which is nothing but an Electronic Reservation Book. This system helps run front-of-house business in restaurants. The ERB takes care of seating arrangements, waitstaff assignments, etc., while also taking notes on frequent customers.
The business model also includes a one-time fee for installation and training costs. The company also imposes a monthly subscription fee which may include extra charges for deferment.
The cost of making an app similar to OpenTable ranges between $8000 to $30000. This cost varies depending on some core features like browsing of restaurants, bookings, accounts, and some personalized algorithms, that you wish to add to your app.
OpenTable makes money by charging restaurants a hefty amount to list on their platform and a nominal amount per booking. It was a new and unique revenue-making model in its prime, but today competition is rampant.
In contrast, Zomato makes money from its varied services. It earns from revenue advertising, food delivery, consultation services, subscription plans, etc. Thus, it has become more relevant in today’s competitive world.
OpenTable replaces the paper reservation system in restaurants and introduces an efficient and speedy automated process. It facilitates table management, guest recognition, reservation management, and email marketing.
On the other hand, Zomato aggregates various restaurants and allows them to deliver food to their customers. It displays restaurant menus, user reviews and ratings, and provides food-delivery personnel to the restaurants.
To know how to build a restaurant reservation app like OpenTable, you will get a fair idea from this blog. For more details, you can contact our experts for an easy and streamlined process. The expertise of the developers in creating applications will make your process easier.
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Depending on the project and its complexities, the time to develop an OpenTable clone app usually varies between 3 months to 6 months.
For a basic MVP that would include some core features like browsing of restaurants, bookings, accounts, and some personalized algorithms, the cost would range between $8000 to $30000.
Idea Usher is a pioneering IT company with a definite set of services and solutions. We aim at providing impeccable services to our clients and establishing a reliable relationship.