Reserve Goes after Instant Reservations

We’ve written a lot recently about the delivery wars currently being waged between competitors like Grubhub, Uber and Amazon, but less has been said about the battle to become the go-to reservation system. Current heavy hitters OpenTable and Yelp’s SeatMe have enjoyed a relatively open playing field for awhile, allowing each of them to acquire thousands of restaurant partners.

Reserve has been in the game since 2014, but has marketed its app as a restaurant “concierge” rather than a traditional reservation system. They partner with a much smaller list of restaurants (currently around 350), and users of the app provide a time window and a number of guests rather than making a reservation on the spot. Restaurants then confirm the time and Reserve alerts the user. Evidently with their eyes on a bigger prize, Reserve has now rolled out instant reservations at a subset of it’s current restaurant list. That subset may be small, but it includes impressive names like Russ & Daughter’s, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Mission Chinese. Reserve’s Head of Restaurant Product, Peter Esmond, says that their focus is largely on creating a product that works better for restaurants by offering more flexibility and greater customer support.

While Yelp and OpenTable continue to go head to head, Reserve may quietly sneak up on them through the high-end market. Or they may just add a delivery feature and take on the world.

To read more, click here.

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