Reserve, a mobile application offering a different take on restaurant reservations, is today exiting its beta period which saw it limiting access by way of a waitlist, and is expanding the service to diners who use Android devices. The previously iOS-only app now works in San Francisco, New York, L.A. and Boston, allowing customers in these markets to use Reserve’s “dining concierge” to make reservations and see further suggestions, then pay their check from the app when their meal ends.
In case you had missed it, Reserve is the first to launch out of the newer startup studio called Expa, created by StumbleUpon and Uber co-founder Garrett Camp. (Expa raised $50 million last year and later announced the addition of Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai in New York.)
Unlike restaurant reservation apps like OpenTable, for example, Reserve users don’t first locate a restaurant then check to see if a table is available. Instead, users just tell Reserve the date and time they want, and the app returns a list of suggestions. It then tries to book a table at the restaurant you choose and, thanks to the relationships it has with restaurant partners, also offers an integrated bill pay function. This bill includes the tax, tip as well as Reserve’s flat $5 fee, which helps the company generate revenue.
Reserve says the app now works in 111 of the country’s “best” restaurants as it goes live on Android, and launches to the public without a waitlist. (The company first launched in late October 2014, but limited access to the service at the time. It only allowed in new users in waves so it could “keep the experience high,” they said.)
In addition to the public launch, the Android app has been updated with a few features based on user feedback from the company’s trials on iOS. There’s now a new tab on the main menu, for example, that allows users to invite friends to try reserve, and the app has updated the user interface to make it easier to add restaurants to a request and view your dining options by neighborhood on an in-app map.
Reserve declined to provide information on how many people signed up for the app during its beta period, or how many are regular users. But given that it wasn’t truly open to all, reporting on those numbers would be premature, we suppose.
The startup is pre-Series A, in terms of funding. Investors include Expa, Rob Hayes (First Round Capital), Chris Sacca (Lowercase Capital), Shervin Pishevar (Sherpa Ventures), Jason Calacanis, Shari Redstone (Advancit Capital), Hunter Walk and Satya Patel (Homebrew Capital), Adam Rothenberg (Box Group), and Google Ventures.