Build a Restaurant Reservation App Like OpenTable: An Ultimate Guide to Follow

The primary aim of the restaurant reservation app is to provide consumers with seamless booking services further disrupting the traditional dining method.

Updated 17 January 2024

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

Director at Appventurez

In this digital era, modern apps are replacing traditional methods of doing business. They are surpassing time-consuming activities, driving enhanced resource management, and providing scopes for optimizing business operations. The same goes for restaurant businesses.

Taking dozens of calls, managing schedules for guests, and handling multiple onboarding tasks simultaneously is hectic for restaurant owners. But, with the advent of a mobile app, they can overcome these hurdles quite smoothly.

Moreover, people may reserve tables at their favorite venues and enjoy delectable food with the aid of restaurant reservation applications. These on demand app development services may look straightforward, but it is effective to serve your business objectives.

This blog briefs regarding certain crucial components to consider while building a restaurant reservation app.

Types of Restaurant Reservation Systems For Businesses

According to a research report, the global restaurant reservation software market size is projected to reach $14.70 billion by 2030. It shows how rapidly restaurant reservation app and web platforms are evolving, and why businesses must opt for one. But before making a decision to build a restaurant reservation app, one needs to choose the model that best suits their business requirements. 

Let’s go through them briefly:

Aggregator Model or 3rd Party Reservation App

This concept functions similarly to a marketplace, with establishments registering with multiple restaurant booking applications such as yours. One may charge a set fee to restaurants for each trade or table reservation. Companies such as Yelp and OpenTable earn money by developing apps and making them work on real-time customer problems.

Some examples of these apps are YELP, OpenTable, DineTime, and TableIn.


  • Helps in boosting the number of customers
  • Reduced resistivity in table management
  • Flexible checkout and payment options
  • Waitlist management with ease of cancelation choices
  • Consistent reporting and analytics
  • Ease of exploring venues for booking
  • Customer rewards management


  • Monthly fee undertakings
  • Unwanted booking cancellations
  • Slow processing due to overloaded guest interactions
  • Less transparency with restaurant feedback/reviews
  • Not providing complete menus or lists

Self-owned App for direct reservations

Building a custom mobile app for your own restaurant reservation system can be an independent way of handling your customers. You don’t need to pay any additional fee to a 3rd party marketplace and be able to manage preferences on your own.


  • It’ll bring value to your customers and business
  • Complete control over the reservation management system
  • Leverage to monetize your business


  • Competing with top players might be hard.
  • It’ll take time to establish a footprint.

Both restaurant reservation systems allow businesses to channel their key motive of driving more customers. Their functions and costs might differ, but digitizing your restaurant using a mobile app can do wonders.

Benefits of Building a Restaurant Reservation App

The primary goal of developing a restaurant reservation app is to boost the progress of your business. Since there are multiple factors involved in running a restaurant successfully, financial standing and customer booking are mutually dependent.

By having an app for restaurant reservations, both business owners and customers can leverage the model of online booking systems. Let’s have a look in detail:

benefits of restaurant booking app

Benefits for Customers

Helps to avoid long queues

With the help of restaurant reservationn apps, guests can book tables in their favorite restaurants anytime. They don’t need to stand and wait in queues outside the venues or for a table to get vacant. The app will provide the available spaces to book for several diners along with the time of arrival.

Access to restaurant reviews

Users can compare the ratings and reviews of several dine-in venues about their food quality, maintenance, hygiene, and various other factors. This can help them make better decisions regarding restaurant booking choices and avoid inappropriate dining experiences.

Pre-ordering cuisines/drinks

Another option for the guests is that they can order their meals in advance, and avoid the wait time at the restaurant. This systematic process also helps in knowing the actual time of serving the food so that guests can manage their time of arrival more efficiently.

Anytime billing & checkout

A restaurant reservation app will offer multiple options to pay for the meal – either after booking or after enjoying the meal. This advantage can help guests to reduce billing or checkout time at the restaurant.

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Benefits to Restaurant Owners

Providing quality customer services

Maintaining a quality customer experience is one of the major challenges faced by businesses. Guests always like seamless service from restaurants and owners can easily provide them with quality experiences with their restaurant booking app. They can offer feasible table booking options, pre and post-billing payouts, secure user login/registration process, and eliminate waiting times for booking or food.Ease of managing bookings/reservations

Owners and their managers have the leverage to streamline bookings and reduce workloads throughout the guest onboarding process. They can track online bookings, coordinate with the chefs to prepare food accordingly, and smoothen daily operations to handle customers without affecting service quality.

Embrace branding through loyalty programs

One of the core benefits that a food business owner can experience from a restaurant reservation app is that they can engage more customers through various loyalty program applications. They can promote offers, discounts/deals on specific days or meals, or run referral programs to entice more guests.

Featuring their menus

Restaurants can upload their menus to showcase cuisines, drinks, and several other food items for their customers. This can help to get early orders along with the bookings, making it easier to start preparations of meals just before the arrival of guests. This will result in an excellent customer experience for the restaurant.

Your restaurant reservation app has to bring value to both customers and your business. Once it is clear as to what services and features the app has to offer, it is imperative to pick the correct technology stack.

For both – diners and restaurant owners, the app will bring immense value to a dine-in experience. It will solve the problems that alter the frictionless management of restaurant reservation systems.

Process to Make a Restaurant Reservation App

steps to build a restaurant app

There are several phases in building a restaurant reservation app – from planning to deploying the desired product. Additionally, at each phase, you need to be assured that your progress is going as per the expectations of your app development journey.

Market Research

The initial stage of building an app for restaurant reservations is completely focused on analyzing your target audience scope, identifying competition, and using the gathered data to prepare a mobile app strategy.

Remember, your app is serving a purpose to resolve real-time problems in the market and for your customers. So, the research will help you find the exact scenarios where you can utilize your restaurant booking app and gain profitable outcomes for your business.

Decide Business Model

Now, once you understand the market, the next step is to choose a relevant business model – your own branded app or 3rd party marketplace.

As we have previously discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both models, you can get an exact idea of what will work well for your business. 

At this stage, your market research will become handy – as you’ll be able to evaluate your potential audience, and actual business requirements to make a better decision.

To help you understand this concept better, a marketplace for restaurant reservations will give you opportunities to partner with multiple restaurants and broaden your traction. On the other hand, a self-owned restaurant booking app will help you scale your brand, monetize your business, and focus on a particular audience group.

The choice will totally depend on your business requirements!

Hiring an app development partner

With the help of professional app developers, you’ll be able to build your product more conveniently. They can help you integrate the latest technologies and platforms to embrace your idea in the market.

To choose a reliable app development partner, you should:

  • Do thorough research on the best app development companies
  • Compare the price of developers in your region
  • Analyze their portfolio to get a clear idea of their expertise
  • Get quotes from shortlisted developers
  • And, then finally agree with a reliable partner for your project

Designing the product’s UI/UX

The role of mobile UI design services is crucial to establish a lasting impression on your target market. It includes interactive elements such as buttons, scrolls, navigation, etc. that help in hooking your audience with the app.

To build a restaurant app that can impress your customers, focus on providing flawless and convenient experiences through your mobile application design process. When users find an app seamlessly responsive, they prefer it over other alternatives. The same fact applies to your restaurant booking app, as well. Therefore, it becomes crucial to design restaurant reservation systems with responsive and interactive UI elements.

Selecting the right set of features

A restaurant reservation app will have three different segments integrated into a single cloud platform for consistent syncing of operations. According to them, the features will be differentiated and then integrated into the app. Let’s have a look:


Easy Sign-in/Sign-up

It’s a basic feature that will be required for admins to start managing restaurant reservations. Once they get access after successful registration, they can keep an eye on all the activities from the backend.

Approve/Reject Restaurant Registrations

Admins will have the control to manage the registrations of the restaurant vendors. If their listings are authorized and apt according to the business standards then they will verify or authenticate their requests.

Manage Customers Details

Admin panel will provide complete access to the dashboard that can help to manage customers’ sign-in/sign-up details securely. In case of any fraudulent activity, they can block the user’s account and report them as inappropriate.

Track Restaurant Booking Operations

The admin executives can track all the operations through the dashboard and also improvise to reduce complexities.

Restaurant Owners

List Venue

The first and foremost feature for restaurant owners is to list their venues by simply registering the details in the app. It requires their address/location, menus, dine-in capacity, and payment account details. For authorization of their business, the app can also ask for the documents with the registration number of ID (as per the govt. Rules, which vary from region to region).

Manage Restaurant Profile

Restaurant owners will have the option to view and manage bookings, payments, and various other activities through their real-time dashboards

Configure The Availability Of Tables

For the ease of managing bookings more efficiently, restaurant owners can manage the availability of tables. This feature can help them manage orders during rush hours, and also reduce empty table problems by controlling the number of bookings.

Creating/Managing Offers & Promos

The restaurant booking app can be used as a marketing tool as well for owners as they can promote offers or special deals on bookings. They can even run campaigns through which they can engage more customers in their restaurants.

View & Reply To Feedback

Restaurant owners can see their reviews and reply to the feedback uploaded by customers. This feature will help to increase app engagement with their potential audience and build value for the business.

Track Payments & Manage Bills

This feature will allow restaurant owners to view past and current payments along with the bills. They can also easily generate online bills for the ease of customers and allow them to make payments by choosing a suitable method.



Using email accounts or social media plugins, customers can register and log in anytime in the restaurant booking app. After that, they can access the list of top restaurants nearby.

Table Booking or Ordering Food

The restaurant reservation app will offer the option to select from the top venues and book tables according to their suitable time. This option will also show the menus of the selected restaurant to pre-order food and reduce waiting time.

Advanced Search Mode

For a better user experience, the advanced search mode will help diners to find nearby locations, search restaurants according to prices, or sort them using top/relevant reviews.

Secure Payment Modes

With the emerging digital mobile payment industry trends (e-wallets, cash cards, or net banking), users can pay their bills anytime once the bill is generated. They can do this process after ordering the food or at the time of booking the table. 

User Profile Management

While managing the profile, users can create a wishlist of their favorite venues, save payment details for a smoother process, change or edit personal details, and even collect rewards. With a user-friendly dashboard, they have access to these features that can lighten up their overall user experience.

Access To Restaurant Locations

Diners can easily locate the restaurants and navigate easily to the venues. This GPS-enabled feature will help users to estimate the exact distance from their location, resulting in timely arrival at the restaurant.

Social Sharing Options

Users can share the restaurants, offers, or any event on their social media profiles. They can also share the app if they are happy with the overall experience.

Choosing the best tech stack for your restaurant reservation app

The right tech stack for your mobile app decides how reliable and scalable your application will be and how many customers it can support, making it the most crucial part of developing a restaurant booking app. Each of these factors is crucial to the success of your application and client retention.

For iOS App Development

  • Programming languages: Objective-C, Swift.
  • Toolkit: Apple Xcode

For Android App Development

  • Programming languages: Java, Kotlin.
  • Toolkit: Android Studio, Eclipse.

Cross-platform app development tools: Flutter, React Native, Unity.

This tech stack has the most utilized tools, and most businesses prefer them to build great applications for their enterprise.

Building an Android or iOS app will restrict your audience reach and you might not able to upscale customer traction. In contrast to cross-platform development, it allows you to employ a resource to create a single application that runs on both iOS and Android.

And that’s why it is profitable to build a cross-platform app for your restaurant reservations system.

App Monetization & Marketing

There are several ways to advertise your business and attract additional clients. One of them is to follow and implement relevant app store optimization strategies, which will help to increase downloads of your app.

Other methods to boost your app’s success are to promote it on social media, in-app advertising, create video ads, do influencer marketing, and run campaigns on various paid platforms.

To monetize your app, you need to pick one of the suitable mobile app monetization models to increase business revenue. Below are som most popular options:

  • Subscription model
  • In-app purchases (vouchers, or monthly passes)
  • Corporate partnerships for higher ROI
  • Premium packages with special features (getting prioritized bookings, first-pay-first-serve, etc.)

These strategies will help you streamline the path toward success for your restaurant booking app. Just make sure to track all the progress and keep improvizing for better results in the competitive markets.

How much does it cost to develop a restaurant reservation app?

Building a restaurant reservation app is a huge task. To determine the cost of developing an app for your business, you need to focus on several factors. Such as: 

  1. Integration of the APIs (online maps, payment gateways, social media plugins, etc)
  2. Region-based development rates
  3. Technical foundation
  4. Time to build an app for your restaurant
  5. Features set to be included
  6. App complexity

Development experts will be able to give a clear estimation for building your restaurant reservation app. So, while selecting a reliable partner for your product, you can get the quotation in accordance with your requirements.


Restaurants should adopt mobile app development to increase visibility, revenue, growth, and expansion. Take advantage of digital transformation techniques and platforms and connect with your audience more effectively by developing your own restaurant reservation app.

Your customers will get a variety of alternatives that guarantee memorable experiences as compared to conventional techniques. With these restaurant reservation applications, several operations can become seamless, enhancing your overall productivity and sales.

looking for developing restaurant reservation app


Q. How to hire developers for restaurant reservation app development?

There are several ways to find developers, like searching on Google, LinkedIn, Toptal, and Clutch. You can compare their work, expertise, and pricing models to choose a reliable team of developers for your projects. However, hiring engineers from a firm like Appventurez is a safe bet. We can provide complete quotations for your project requirements and the strategies for successfully building it.

Q. What are the important features of the restaurant reservation app?

A restaurant app should have functions such as signup, search, GPS navigation, menu, online restaurant booking system, guest profile, push alerts, reservation history, and so on.

Q. Why do you need a restaurant reservation app?

The usage of smartphones is increasing consistently. Restaurant businesses can also leverage this fact and catch the attention of their potential customers through their own apps. Moreover, they can monetize business through various digital platforms and achieve milestones in this industry. An app can take your restaurant business to new heights of success through digital transformation.

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

Director at Appventurez

Director and one of the Co-founders at Appventurez, Chandrapal Singh has 10+ years of experience in iOS app development. He captains client coordination and product delivery management. He also prepares preemptive requisites and guides the team for any possible issues on a given project.

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