A Brief Guide to the Newer Reservation Apps

WORTH NOTING Reservations can be canceled from the app or an email that Resy sends as a reminder.

Yelp Reservations


On this app and website, reservation options appear when you pull up reviews of any of the 4,000 or so restaurants that have signed on with Yelp. Enter your request, then swipe and click on the reservation time you want. As you view Yelp reviews, a filter allows you to find the restaurants that take reservations via Yelp.

COST Free.

WORTH NOTING You can get money back on meals by giving Yelp your credit-card information and using that card to pay.



Enter a request, and this app shows the restaurants it has listed that have what you’re looking for. Press the specific time you want, then enter your name, phone number and email address.

COST Free.

WORTH NOTING The number of restaurants that use Reserve in each market varies widely, with more in Chicago and Boston and fewer in, say, New York. Though its 850 clients include many top restaurants like Blue Hill and Le Coucou, tables are rarely available in prime hours. Reserve also shows several restaurants that have no tables available, which can be annoying.



This is the reservation app every parent has waited for. Owned by Yelp, it features only restaurants that don’t take reservations and instead rely on a waiting list, like a Chili’s at the local mall. Nowait shows how long the wait is at various casual restaurants, and allows you to reserve a spot on a restaurant’s waiting list without going there.

COST Free.

WORTH NOTING The app sends a polite reminder to your phone when it’s time to start heading to the restaurant.



Like Nowait, the Spotluck app isn’t interested in hot restaurants. Its goal is to fill seats in local places using an algorithm that incorporates the day of the week, time and weather, among other things, to calculate what kind of discount it would take to motivate a diner to eat out.

COST Free.

WORTH NOTING You spin a virtual wheel (only one spin allowed each day) that randomly selects a restaurant and attaches a discount of up to 30 percent for a meal there. If you want to eat elsewhere, you may select one of the other restaurants shown and get a smaller discount there. A recent spin on a Monday in Midtown Manhattan came up with a 25 percent discount at the Croton Reservoir Tavern, but also offered 10 percent off at Boccone and 20 other places in the area.



This app and website allow you to choose a restaurant, order a meal, pay for it and pick a time to eat it. When you show up, your meal is ready. The goal is to help restaurants get diners in and out in less than an hour.

COST Free.

WORTH NOTING Allset, which serves nine American cities including New York and Los Angeles, is aimed at the business lunch crowd. You can ask friends to join you via the app, which also suggests a tip.

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