I should preface this post by telling you that OpenTable is one of my favorite things ever created. There is nothing worse than showing up to a restaurant really hungry and being told that there’s a 45 minute wait. This is even worse if you, like me, are always hungry.
OpenTable is a free app that allows you to make reservations to hundreds of restaurants for free, and then you get points for using it, which turn into free stuff. Did I mention it’s free?
The app has a really clean UI that makes it easy to use. When you open the app, it will automatically pick up your location. You can then search through available restaurants, or you can input a different location. When I travel, I like to use OpenTable to book fancy restaurants weeks in advance in another city.
You can filter your results every which way (by cuisine, price range, location, etc), and you can see results in list or map form. Once you pick a restaurant you might enjoy, you get a wealth of info on it.
The first tab is the menu tab, which is always my first click. Here you can scroll through the restaurant’s various menus, and for many places, the most popular dishes based on user reviews will be featured.
The second tab is the info tab, where you can see available reservation times, location, as well as some notable things about the restaurant.
The third tab has OpenTable user reviews, where people can rate the food, service, ambiance, and noise level of the establishment. I always like to read a few before making any decisions, because I truly believe that if i’m going to pay someone to feed me, they better do a damn good job.
The last tab features user photos of dishes from the restaurant. These range from pictures that look like they were taken by seasoned photographers to pictures that look like blurry barf. However, if you’re visual person, check our some pictures to whet your palate.
Every reservation gives you points (typically, 100 points per reservation), and time slots denoted with the little red icon are worth 1,000 points. You can redeem your points for dining cheques/restaurant gift cards (they recently updated this policy to include more rewards) after you reach 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 points.
You can also modify or cancel your reservation anytime through the app, without ever having to bother a stressed-out hostess who sounds like she may cry if one more person asks how long the wait is.
Check out the app, regardless of what phone you use, and never be hangry (hungry/angry) again.
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