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If I wanted to design the perfect mobile app for making restaurant reservations on the go, it would allow me to punch in the day and time of my special meal, set the general size of my party, then see a list of nearby establishments fitting the bill on an interactive map.
I could then refine my search by the type of food we wanted to eat, price, reservation time or by points awarded for eating there. Because, hey, my perfect app would award me redeemable points just for using it, right?
OpenTable, thankfully, has delivered on my dream app. OpenTable makes it super-easy to make confirmed reservations at 15,000 restaurants in the U.S., U.K., Mexico and Canada, all through the power of your mobile phone. And I wasn't joking about the points thing. When you book a meal and pay the tab, the restaurant will award you with a set number of points. No surprise that the higher the cost of your meal, the more points you'll earn.
I find the entire app easy to use, and the time to place a reservation and get a confirmation well within acceptable limits (less than 10 seconds), once I narrow my search. The only real challenge I have is the lack of restaurant choices here in my hometown of Raleigh, NC. No doubt, if you stick to the big cities, you'll be awash with choices that are plugged into the OpenTable network.
The real power comes in the ability to see current menus (nice!), read ratings placed by other OpenTable users, and jump into in-depth reviews. If you register your account, you'll also be able to manage upcoming reservations, look at your usage history, send invitations to family, friends and co-workers via email, and start earning those coveted dining rewards points, which are good at any OpenTable establishment. Yum!