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A couple months ago, we covered a new restaurant app we were trying out called Reserve (related post). The company is like the Uber for restaurants, making it actually possible to leave your house and dine out without even bringing a wallet. The Reserve app lets you “reserve” a table at a top rated restaurant and takes care of all payment/tip right within the app, making it possible to avoid having to chase down the waiter/waitress for a check. Currently, they only have partner restaurants in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
With the $20 referral promotion, Mrs. Deals and I decided to take advantage of the Reserve selection of restaurants while visiting family in the Boston area (free babysitters) for a rare night out. In Boston we “reserved” at B&G Oysters and would give it at least 4.5 stars. To get $20 towards dinner you can sign up using code GJMIPF. Once you download the app, go to “Account” and “Add Promo Code”.
The experience of using Reserve is pretty simple. First off, it allows you to get restaurant recommendations in a new city. Unlike OpenTable, the company only partners with restaurants that they’ve personally tried out themselves and highly recommend. We liked this feature as there was a smaller subset of restaurants to select from and we weren’t overwhelmed with your everyday Thai lunch special restaurant. Once you select your desired restaurant, you select your desired time range for when you want to dine. The concierge on the other side of the app contacts the restaurant to try to find you a reservation within that time window. Unfortunately you can’t seem to select your preferred time, a feature I’m hoping they will add in at some point.
Now once you are confirmed you see the reservation listed in the app. If you are unable to get a reservation, they will suggest an alternative with availability which is exactly how we ended up at B&G Oysters. We were hoping for another oyster restaurant in Boston, but since it was graduation week reservations were hard to come by. I will say though, it did take close to 12 hours for the concierge to get back to us, so I am not sure how well it would work if you are looking for last minute reservations.
While it does cost $5 to make the reservation through Reserve, there’s definitely something convenient about not having to exchange a credit card with a waiter or fumble through cash to get the bill paid. You are basically paying the the fee for this convenience which I hear may start getting sponsored by third parties from time to time. I also didn’t care about the $5 fee since I received a $20 credit for signing up. They also now allow you to split the check, which is extremely convenient! I think where Reserve wins is helping a frequent traveler find a good place in a new city to dine without having to really fumble through thousands of Yelp or Open Table reviews.
The team is updating things frequently so I imagine the experience will continue to improve. For now, it’s worth trying it out with your free $20 especially if you were going to eat at one of the partner restaurants anyways!
To get $20 towards dinner you can sign up using code GJMIPF. Once you download the app, go to “Account” and “Add Promo Code”. Feel free to leave your own referral code in the comments section as well!