While OpenTable seems to be synonymous with online restaurant reservations, they aren’t the only game in town. UrbanSpoon, another one of those online restaurant information sites (and one that I actually use), launched their own system back in late 2009. The program, simply named Rez, has been slowly rolling out to different cities over the past few years. Thankfully for those of us in the Dirty Dirty, Atlanta is now on the map. Rez itself is geared towards those of us who do the eating; meanwhile, UrbanSpoon has released an ipad app aimed at helping those of us who do the feeding. That application is known as RezBook. As it stands, there is still some growing up to do for Rez, but it’s a start nonetheless. More details after the jump!
First things first, let’s start with the good things. Although I’ve always found UrbanSpoon to be a UX/UI nightmare (that’s geek talk for how user friendly the site is), they always seem to have some things that are pretty darn solid. Most notably, their mobile app is both easy to use and very useful. The website is another issue. However, for those of us looking to make a reservation, things couldn’t be much easier. When you visit the page for a participating restaurant, you simply select your desired time/date and then fill out this three-step form:
There is also a homepage for Atlanta restaurants that participate. At the top of the page, you’ll see restaurants that you’ve already marked as “likes” So far so good, but there are still some shortcomings.
Some of the problems I alluded to prevent me from really jumping on the bandwagon. First off, there is no easy way to see which restaurants actually provide the service. The homepage I mentioned doesn’t have a complete list and there isn’t a search feature or anything else that provides access to a complete list. If it does exist, then that would speak to the cluttered nature of the site. In addition, I don’t see any way to manage my reservations. Maybe it’s there if you actually complete a reservation, but I see no sign of the program on my profile page.
As for the business end of the program, I am unable to comment as I don’t own a restaurant. For those of you inclined to check it out, you can visit the program page. Additional information is available over on TechCrunch.