How to Develop Restaurant Reservation App like OpenTable?

How To Build Table Reseration App like OpenTable for Restaurants

Kirtan Thaker This post was written by Kirtan Thaker

What is your biggest concern while running a lucrative business as a restaurant owner? It will be handling customers, orders, and looking after multiple tables, ensuring no compromise in services and food quality. And if people love your food and environment, we bet you have much to deal with. On the other side, sometimes it becomes difficult even for customers to find a restaurant like yours that can provide a table and good food on time without waiting for hours.
Well, there is a solution to every problem as they say. To handle issues like keeping your customers waiting to get a table, there is a restaurant reservation application that helps restaurant owners facilitate online table booking and gives customers immediate tables and more time for dining. The best example of a restaurant reservation system app is Open Table among the top reservation apps in 2024. This is a robust platform serving over 50000 restaurants to book tables for their customers with a wide range of options and features.

Current Market Scenario for Restaurant Reservation App

Global Restaurant Reservation Apps Market Research
The future of the restaurant reservation application market is positive and is set to grow rapidly. In 2023, this market was valued at $7.71 bn. And it is exciting to know that in the next 8 years, the market will rise to $24.5 bn by 2031. This is almost four times from 2023 to 2031.  The biggest factors that will drive the expansion are changing market dynamics, consumer behavior, and economic, political, and social landscapes of various countries. Looking at these consistent upward trends, building a robust business through a restaurant reservation app is not a bad idea. 
Initially, this may seem to be difficult and impossible. But Opentable has made it possible and it’s now turned into a profitable business. So firstly, let us understand a bit about Opentable and what kind of features it has incorporated into its restaurant reservation application.

What is the OpenTable App and How it differ from Other Online Restaurant Booking Apps?

OpenTable is one such phenomenal app that has revolutionized the restaurant industry with the simple process of booking reservations and managing front-of-house operations. Among all the online restaurant booking apps, OpenTable is the oldest scheduling app incorporated in San Francisco, California in 1998. Established to ease the lives of several restaurant owners, the app allows you to modify, book, and cancel reservations in just minutes so accurately.
Moreover, OpenTable is one such app that allows users to earn VIP status by booking a table 12 times in a year. Also, users can browse the menu, find out the popular cuisine of the restaurant, and get directions to the location. Due to its user-friendly UI and great features, OpenTable has now become very popular in the restaurant industry. Some of the best features of the OpenTable app that every restaurant owner nowadays wants to replicate in their app are:

Customer Features:

Restaurant Owners Features

Benefits of Developing a Similar App Like OpenTable

Whether your restaurant business is small or large, you will always wish to improve and expand. With a digital app like a restaurant reservation system, you can simplify your most important yet time-consuming tasks like booking a table, finding more customers, and reducing chaotic conditions like waiting time for customers. So you can understand that there are ample benefits of table scheduling apps that you can not ignore.

Benefits for Restaurant Owners

Benefits for Customers

A survey done for OpenTable success revealed at least 83% of diners prefer to reserve their table before arrival and 85% of the customers want to know how long will it take to get the table. Hence, these statistics clearly reveal how customers are benefited by using the restaurant reservation app. 

What is the Process of Developing an Online Restaurant Booking App?

Generally, there are six steps for building an exceptional online table-scheduling app for your restaurant business:

Carry Out Market Research

There are more than 2 million apps on the iOS platform and over 3.5 million apps on Google Playstore. Hence, every user knows what they want and they also understand what kind of unique features you offer for their benefits. Hence, you need to conduct rigorous research to make your reservation app for dining out successful. This is what OpenTable has done and stood out successfully beating out its competitors.
So begin with effective market research and analyse apps developed by your competitors. With this activity, you will get to know what your competitors are offering and what they cannot. By conducting this sort of research, you get some niche insights and needs that may not be fulfilled by your competitors. Those will be the areas that you need to work on and find out how customers will benefit if you provide those features and benefits into your app.

Highlight all Features Needed

The next step is to list down all the features that you identify as unique and exceptionally different from competitors. This feature should not only benefit your customers but also should bring you profits in the long run. Consumers must get highly engaging experiences with your new features. Besides finalizing these, you must keep in mind your services in the form of features must be simple, fast, and with catchy images.

Plan out the App Design

Creating appealing app designs is crucial to grab the attention of users at the very first instance. This will drive them to explore the app more. Consider choosing simple and clear designs as possible. Here, your app includes two prime elements UI and UX. User Interface (UI) looks and feel to the app. It determines how users interact with the audience. Elements like menus, buttons, icons, shortcuts, colors, and fonts are a part of UI. User experience (UX) includes loading time, app structure in depth, and length of content. UX will remain with your brand till the end. So make sure to create a consistent and easy-to-navigate UX.

App Development

With this, you now begin with the daunting journey of building an online restaurant reservation app. To develop this app, you need three components – the back end, the front end, and the API.
The back end includes features like scripting, coding, and data processing. You need skillful developers who will develop the entire structure at the back end and these features will not be visible to users. The front end is for users. Here, users can visualize, explore, and interact with app through its features like buttons, interactive elements, navigation menus, images, and content. For this, you must integrate UI/UX capabilities with the front-end team.
Lastly, API is the component that allows two applications to communicate with each other. When you use a Facebook app to send messages and check the weather, you are actually using an API.

App Testing

Assimilating the main three steps for your table scheduling app creation – concept, design, and development, now you must check its reliability, speed, responsiveness, and acceptability. For that, you need your app to undergo several tests. All the versions of your app get tested here with various testing tools and then you can publish your app on the desired platform and on different operating systems.


Once your app gets ready and goes through the testing phase, get ready to publish your app on the App Store and Play Store. Soon the users will start knowing your app and gradually they will download it from there. You must be thinking about how will the users know your app exists on the App Store. So, putting an app on those platforms is not enough. The next step is marketing your app. During the deployment process, you must keep track of the initial users and know their feedback. Accordingly, you can update your app to give better user experiences to new users.

App Marketing

Google Play Store and Apple Store are flooded with millions of apps. It will be a challenging task to promote your app so effectively without practicing the right ways of promotion and marketing. Hence, the last step that you should implement consistently month on month is creating an effective marketing strategy. For that, you can run various marketing campaigns on social media platforms like Instagram, FB, and YouTube. Also, you can use other tools and elements to promote your restaurant reservation app.

What is the Cost to Build a Table Booking App like OpenTable?

The cost of building a restaurant reservation app like OpenTable depends on several factors such as app complexity, kind of features you need, the design, and the team of developers you hire. The tentative cost for building MVP features with simple UI/UX for startups may start from $7000 to $8000. If you want to start a website or create a robust software just like OpenTable, it may cost you between $15000 to $17000.
In addition, location of the app development company, application platform, team strength, scope of the project, and technology stack are crucial factors that you must consider before determining the final cost of development.
For your information, we believe the below table will help you know the per-hour cost of hiring an app developer in different parts worldwide:
Location of restaurant reservation application development services company Developer rates per hour in USD
As you observe in the above table, the restaurant app development cost in India is the lowest. However, the rates of hiring on hourly basis does not determine the expertise of developers or the quality of application that they could deliver. So outsourcing development of such app like OpenTable to India is a budget-friendly choice.


As compared to conventional methods to keep customers waiting, getting a restaurant app can help them avail with a variety of options. Whitelotus Corporation provides exceptional restaurant reservation app development services. Over the years, we have helped businesses and entrepreneurs across the world to launch such business apps. In addition, we have ample experience in harnessing the benefits of superior technologies like AI, blockchain, and IoT that can scale your business to the next level. Developing a restaurant table reservation app like OpenTable is a modern solution to solve the problems of new-era generation. It is an excellent business opportunity as it provides forever benefits of user-friendly features and services. If you are planning to create such an app for your business, connect with our experts today!

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