By Erick Schonfeld
Some of the most useful set of apps on the iPhone are the restaurant apps that tell you what is to eat nearby. There’s UrbanSpoon, Yelp, and LocalEats, among others. But once you find a restaurant, you still have to call to make a reservation. Now, you no longer have to use up those minutes. Online reservation service OpenTable released an iPhone app today that lets you not only find nearby restaurants, but book a table as well. You don’t have to call and wait on hold. The app uses OpenTable’s online reservation system to book and confirm a table. It will even give you directions to the restaurant from wherever you are.
You are shown only nearby restaurants, and cannot filter by type of cuisine or refine your search as easily as you can on the Website. But the app is perfectly functional. The key is that it only shows you nearby restaurants that have open tables for the time when you want to eat.
OpenTable is especially great for reserving tables at high-end restaurants. If you are on a business trip, or wandering about town with some friends and want to make impromptu dinner plans, I could see this app becoming indispensable. I’m a big fan of OpenTable, and already have an account there, so for someone like me it is a must-have iPhone app.
The app is free and you can download it from iTunes.